Week 4 first takes a look at the role of the government in terms of how the government views its role in supporting fairness in the delivery of healthcare in the United States. Several classical views of equity and fairness are presented and analyzed to find a position for the government to take for controlling the healthcare marketplace. At present, the government’s role has been defined by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. There is a great controversy over this act as to whether it goes too far or not far enough. Clearly, some would argue that some form of universal care would be superior. The free market, as we’ve discussed in the previous units, does not always follow the assumptions that are required to make it optimal. The government’s role is clearly to support the market where those assumptions are not met. At the same time, as you will see in this unit, there is a real question of how far the government should go in providing equity and justice, which are not the concerns of the free market.
In the second half of this week, data from healthcare expenditures and trends will be presented for analysis. Using this data, it will become clearer where the market requires adjustment or support from the government. This data will help administrators understand the present marketplace and help in forecasting the future, taking into account the goals of the country in terms of support for its health. It is helpful to compare the United States’ results in expenditures with those of other countries, and in this regard, several other countries will be presented for comparison.
Your Learning Objectives for the Week:

Analyze current-day delivery of healthcare health policy related to concepts involving efficiency and equality.
Synthesize current policies from an economic perspective.
Critique the healthcare market place from a “systems” perspective.

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