A brief supplemental text for upper level undergraduate courses in comparative political economy, comparative public policy, and American political economy. The book's six chapters look in detail at the political economies of the U.S., Sweden and Germany, exploring the fundamental differences between their handling of health policy, pensions, family policy, corporate governance and fiance, and labor markets. The book's many rich and well rendered examples of the three countries' various policies helps students push past abstractions and understand what it is actually like to live under different capitalist systems.
Chapter 2: Health Policy
AMONGTHEFIRSTITEMSTHATWILLAPPEARON any list of what is necessary for individual well-being is good health. Governments and charitable institutions like churches have always played a role in establishing hospitals, but until the middle of the twentieth century, outpatient health care usually took the form of a private service that was purchased on the market. Perhaps the first question to ask as we consider health policy in Germany, the United States, and Sweden is why governments ended up playing such a big role in health care. Why is it that the basic market model, in which private physicians treat patients for a fee, failed to persist into the present?
Is Health Care a Commodity?
One reason why the market model failed is that the high costs ...