In this essay I identify how historic patterns of competition among health care interest groups have simultaneously retained their past contours and also changed significantly as a result of the jolt created by the rise of managed care. I explain why it is that I and other executives of for-profit managed behavioral health care organizations, traditionally advocates of market-based approaches to accountability, have begun to support some versions of regulation by the national government in order to restore consumer confidence in the credibility of managed health plans. Key concepts that are addressed include notions of public accountability, control of the purse strings, consumer protections, and provider privileges.

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