The $1.1 billion fund allocated for comparative-effectiveness research in the economic-stimulus package has drawn criticism from some health experts and media members who say the move ultimately will allow the government to dictate what medicines people should or should not receive, writes Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein. Although this is unlikely if the research is carried out in a "disciplined, scientific way," the concerns should serve to warn the Obama administration of how health care reform likely will become a "vicious and divisive" issue, Pearlstein writes.

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