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Balancing economic freedom against social policy principles: EC competition law and national health systems

  • Mossialos, Elias
  • Lear, Julia
Registered author(s):

    EU Health policy exemplifies the philosophical tension between EC economic freedoms and social policy. EC competition law, like other internal market rules, could restrict national health policy options despite the subsidiarity principle. In particular, European health system reforms that incorporate elements of market competition may trigger the application of competition rules if non-economic gains in consumer welfare are not adequately accounted for. This article defines the policy and legal parameters of the debate between competition law and health policy. Using a sample of cases it analyses how the ECJ, national courts, and National Competition Authorities have applied competition laws to the health services sector in different circumstances and in different ways. It concludes by considering the implications of the convergence of recent trends in competition law enforcement and health system market reforms.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168851012000735
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.

    Volume (Year): 106 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 127-137

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:106:y:2012:i:2:p:127-137
    DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2012.03.008
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol

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    1. Sauter, W., 2008. "Services of general economic interest and universal service in EU law," Discussion Paper 2008-017, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    2. Ferrera, Maurizio, 2005. "The Boundaries of Welfare: European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199284672, December.
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    4. Fidler, Armin H. & Haslinger, Reinhard R. & Hofmarcher, Maria M. & Jesse, Maris & Palu, Toomas, 2007. "Incorporation of public hospitals: A "Silver Bullet" against overcapacity, managerial bottlenecks and resource constraints?: Case studies from Austria and Estonia," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(2-3), pages 328-338, May.
    5. María-de-los-Ángeles Gil-Estallo & Fernando Giner-de-la- Fuente & Carles Gríful-Miquela & Yolanda-María Sánchez-Jiménez, 2010. "New Competences for Crisis Times," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 16(2), pages 190-202, May.
    6. Varkevisser, Marco & Capps, Cory S. & Schut, Frederik T., 2008. "Defining hospital markets for antitrust enforcement: new approaches and their applicability to The Netherlands," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 7-29, January.
    7. Lo, Simon M. S. & Wilke, Ralf A., 2009. "A copula model for dependent competing risks," FDZ Methodenreport 200902_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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