Redistributive Policy-The Healthcare System
Review the history of the debate over national health care. Early attention to effective medical care came during the Progressive Era when activists emphasized the need for preventive care. Most of the concern disappeared and later reemerged as a consequence of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Until recently public policy has focused on the elderly and some of the poorest Americans. Include in the discussion some awareness that one reason why national health care policy has never caught on is that Americans tend to associate it with socialism.
Compare and contrast hospital costs and provider fees in this country with that of other countries. Review the role of interest groups in the making of health care policy. Discuss how much health care costs impact on the national budget and the national deficit. Consider the tradeoffs (exchange) necessary to continue to maintain the existing health care system. Who are the winners and the losers? Discuss the experience of the “typical” American household when confronted with a medical emergency. Review the cost of a “broken leg.” Provide a step-by-step account of how the system currently works. Compare a standard insurance claim process (you may use Preferred Provider Organizations, PPOs) with that of a claim processed via HMO or the new Affordable Care Act. Assess the system and indicate its strengths and weaknesses.