Incentives vs. Controls in Health Policy: Broadening the Debate

By Jack A. Meyer; American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research | Go to book overview

Foreword

In 1982 AEI's Center for Health Policy Research received a grant from the Pew Memorial Trust to conduct educational seminars for students in allied health fields and to assess new state and local initiatives in health cost management through a companion series of meetings. This volume grows out of papers prepared for the seminars held for doctoral and postdoctoral students in health care policy in October 1983 and May 1984. A volume containing another group of papers from AEI seminars under this grant will be published later this year.

The purpose of this book is to build bridges between issues in health care cost containment and broader public policy issues. The book is designed to place the debate over such questions as market versus regulatory approaches to health care cost management in the broader context of the general advantages and disadvantages of these strategies throughout the economy. The essays suggest that as different as the health sector is from other parts of the U.S. economy, there are important lessons to be learned from the resolution of disputes over prices, costs, and access to service in other sectors.

This book augments the educational impact of the policy discussions convened by AEI. It is designed to inform both today's practitioners and tomorrow's leaders in the health care field and to widen the perspective from which they view the day-to-day controversies over the cost of health care and its quality and availability.

We continue to conduct seminars sponsored by the Pew Memorial Trust, which are intended to be breeding grounds for new concepts and testing grounds for experiments in the health cost field. Students in fields ranging from medicine and nursing to health administration and finance are obtaining firsthand knowledge of how public policy decisions are made. They also have the opportunity to make their own presentations describing research in progress, thereby developing useful skills in communicating new findings and persuading their peers of the policy relevance of their work.

The center's seminars and books have always tried to focus on issues in the forefront of public policy debate. When national health insurance proposals and competing blueprints of federally designed

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