We often think of health policy and health services research as offering solutions to cost, quality, and access problems. Many of us see health policy as simply ineffective. But any activity that has the power to cure can also do harm. Is it possible that the health policy enterprise has contributed to the very problems it has been attempting to eliminate? We argue that it has. Reasonable assumptions have led to a series of solutions that have provided political cover for those vested in the status quo. This process is nonpartisan, with those of us on the left and the right unintentionally and inadvertently contributing to the problems we are so committed to solving.

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