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Saturday, August 11, 2012

The American Health Policy Trap

The American health policy trap: a costly and complicated system that has left a growing minority of Americans without financial protection in sickness but has nonetheless satsfied enough people to make it difficult to change. The key elements of the trap are a system of employer-provided insurance that conceals its true costs from those who benefit from it; targeted government programs that protect groups such as the elderly and veterans, who are well organized and enjoy wide public sympathy and believe that, unlike other claimants, they have earned their benefits; and a financing system that has expanded and enriched the health care industry, creating powerful interests averse to change.
Paul Starr, Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform

3 comments:

  1. Wow! I'm so happy see this post from you! I was getting ready to email you to see if everything was alright.

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  2. Health policy refers to decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific health care goals within a society. An explicit health policy can achieve several things: it defines a vision for the future which in turn helps to establish targets and points of reference for the short and medium term. It outlines priorities and the expected roles of different groups; and it builds consensus and informs people.http://productrevieu.wordpress.com/

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  3. Allena, I couldn't agree more. Sadly, the United States has never achieved consensus. Without a unified approach to health policy, we have costly and fragmented delivery characterized by both overtreatment and under treatment. I suppose this is because health policy here has a long history of being politicized whereas -- from the outside looking in, anyway -- in other nations universal access appears to be in the national interest rather than a matter of ideology.

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