History and Health Policy in the United States: Putting the Past Back In

By Rosemary A. Stevens; Charles E. Rosenberg et al. | Go to book overview

Charles E. Rosenberg


Chapter 1
Anticipated Consequences
Historians, History, and Health Policy

Policy is a familiar term. But like many indispensable words, it is not easily defined. In one sense it is descriptive: policy refers to current practice in the public sector. It also has a variety of other meanings: policy may imply an "ought" of planning and strategic coherence—or a real world "is" of conflict, negotiation, and compromise.1

As the history of United States health policy makes clear, moreover, the real world is not a very orderly place. Policies on the ground seem less a coherent package of ideas and logically related practices than a layered conglomerate of stalemated battles, ad hoc alliances, and ideological gradients, more a cumulative sediment of negotiated cease-fires among powerful stakeholders than a self-conscious commitment to data-sanctioned goals. But policy outcomes are hardly random; they embody the divergent rationalities and strategies of contending interests. Public-sector outcomes are determined by structured contention and contingency—not the prospective models and metrics of social scientists.2

Thus, the familiar dismissal of the historical community's potential contribution to policy seems, at least to this historian, paradoxical. Structured contention and contingency are history and so is contemporary policy—even if historians and historical data seem tangential to the demanding (and demanded) task of anticipating the consequences of particular present actions.3 From the historian's perspective, it is equally clear that recent policy—including ideological invocations of the past—constitutes a comparatively neglected area for research. Health policy tells us a great deal about the relationships among interest and ideology, formal structures and human need,

-13-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
History and Health Policy in the United States: Putting the Past Back In
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 364

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.