Social and Economic Attitudes Shaping American Health Policy

The Heath Clark Lectures (University of London) explore the development of American health care policy in a social and economic context; the probability of transatlantic relevance is substantial. I. American Health Care: Selected Policy Issues. The U.S. economy is beset with difficulties, and social policy bends to these realities and to perceptions of them. In the climate of growing neoconservatism, efforts to develop a coherent and cohesive national health policy are discontinuous and even inconsistent. II. Efficiency and Equity in Medicine: The Role of the Economist. The critical issue for economic policy is the amount spent for health care in society; for social policy it is the way that amount is shared. Certainly, there is an interplay between the two, but we must be wary of finding common ground in economic-investment and benefit-cost approaches. Striving for equity offers the best strategy to attain efficiency.

Author(s): Rashi Fein

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Volume 58, Issue 3 (pages 349–385)
Published in 1980