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“Historically, whenever there’s been research for the best kind of care, the entities that have moved the fastest to deal with it has not been the federal government, but the insurance companies,” said Julius W. Hobson Jr., a senior policy adviser at Bryan Cave LLP.

But all this presupposes that the inclusion of a government-run insurance option - which is not a lock to be part of the final bill - will crowd out private companies and leave the government in control of the health care industry.

Mr. Obama has already signed off on more than $1 billion for federal research as part of the $787 billion stimulus act passed in February. The funding is to be used to conduct research that compares the outcomes of procedures to prevent, treat or diagnose diseases or conditions.

The legislation specifies that the research cannot be used to deny treatment to Medicare patients, a move that likely would pacify some Republican concerns over including it in the reform bill.