In current discussions of “procompetitive” approaches to health policy, the enforcement of antitrust laws in health care markets is a strategy that has attracted increasing attention: the filing of consumer-oriented health suits provides a means to “redress” the typically imbalanced “political market” in health policy. This study examines an important aspect of the antitrust enforcement process, the decision by a state attorney general to undertake an aggressive antitrust enforcement program in the health area. Three variables were found to explain this decision: the political needs of a “politician-supplier,” the organizational resources of a strategic institutional position, and the availability of a relatively favorable policy arena. An assessment of the future role of state attorneys general in this area suggests that their health antitrust initiatives will increase, but that various political and resource constraints are likely to inhibit their aggressiveness in pursuing these actions.

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