• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Guide to U.S. Health and Health Care Policy provides the analytical connections showing students how issues and actions are translated into public policies and institutions for resolving or managing healthcare issues and crises, such as the recent attempt to reform the national healthcare system. The Guide highlights the decision-making cycle that requires the cooperation of government, business, and an informed citizenry in order to achieve a comprehensive approach to advancing the nation's healthcare policies. Through 30 topical, operational, and relational essays, the book addresses the development of the U.S. healthcare system and policies, the federal agencies and public and private organizations that frame and administer those policies, and the challenges of balancing the nation's healthcare needs with the rising costs of medical research, cost-effective treatment, and adequate health insurance.

Key Features: 30 topical essays investigate the fundamental political, social, economic, and procedural initiatives that drive health and health care policy decisions affecting Americans at the local, regional, and national levels.; Essential themes traced throughout the chapters include providing access to healthcare, national and international intervention, nutrition and health, human and financial resource allocation, freedom of religion versus public policy, discrimination and healthcare policy, universal healthcare coverage, private healthcare versus publicly funded healthcare, and the immediate and long-term costs associated with disease prevention, treatment, and health maintenance.; A Glossary of Key Healthcare Policy Terms and Events, a Selected Master Bibliography, and a thorough Index are included.

This must-have reference for political science and public policy students who seek to understand the issues affecting health care policy in the U.S. is suitable for academic, public, high school, government, and professional libraries.

Introduction: Beyond the Stable State—New Challenges and Directions for U.S. Health Policy
Introduction: Beyond the stable state—New challenges and directions for U.S. health policy

The philosopher and systems analyst Donald Schön argued that individuals, organizations, and societies bent on preserving the status quo were unlikely to prosper over the long run. In his 1971 book Beyond the Stable State, he acknowledged an innate human desire for stability and the certainty it brings. Schön concluded, however, that the pace and pervasiveness of technological change were so disruptive that efforts to maintain, or return to, a stable state were illusory and futile. Far better to proceed on the basis of these assumptions:

  • The loss of the stable state means that our society and all of its institutions are in ...
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