The Shaping of the American Health Care System



the United States has had a tremendous difficulty in resolving basic questions about about health care and health insurance Healthcare has remained a toxic issue at the center of politics a source of division are now going on for just about a century if you want to think about this sociologically I think you come back to the structure of organization that was shaped in the late 19th and early 20th century by the organized medical profession in the 1830s and 1840s the medical profession first suffered a really a loss of of authority and market power the late 19th century the profession began to restore its control its own market and to assert its authority and power and shaping of other institutions that includes hospitals of Public Health and it includes health insurance physicians were able to block what might have been a different direction for American healthcare and that had consequences for the alternatives that got considered the agenda that reached the public in the political process so the sociological perspective helps you take a step back to an earlier stage before the political debate and helps you understand why only certain options got serious consideration you just need to keep focused on the human questions for many people to get past the ideological blinders I don't think this is easy to do I think sociologists have a contribution to make in this area

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