Experts agree–the U.S. has achieved the most technologically advanced medical care system in the world and it provides the highest quality, most comprehensive medical education available. Can we conclude that our health care system is one of America's success stories? It appears–we cannot. However, amid growing concern over our health care system, there is far less agreement on what to do about it. Jennie Kronenfeld addresses major health care controversies confronting American society, health care professionals, and policymakers. This intriguing book focuses on the overlapping area between policy sciences and health care studies, particularly the cost, access, and quality of health care. Kronenfeld discusses whether our system can solve its problems, or whether we have a health care “system” at all. Do we have a national health care “policy,” or a web of state, county, and city policies? And, what of fundamental changes being adopted in the midst of the controversies surrounding reproductive health and abortion, mental health and behavioral health, disease patterns/physical health/AIDS, aging and long-term care, as well as the professions and facilities who provide care? A provocative examination of these important issues, Controversial Issues in Health Care Policy is essential reading for students of policy studies, health services, and sociology, as well as for policymakers, and health care professionals.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Health Care Policy Issues
Introduction to Health Care Policy Issues
One hundred years ago, few people ever spoke about health care. Back in 1883, going to the hospital was a rare (and dreaded) event in most people's lives. Going to the doctor was something people did infrequently, usually only when they saw no other recourse for feeling better and getting back to work. In the past 35 years, all of this has changed for the average, middle-class American. Health care in the United States has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry. Health care related stocks and companies have experienced rapid growth and large gains in value during the late 1980s and early 1990s. People do not dread going to a hospital, although fewer people spend ...