Accidental Logics

Accidental Logics : The Dynamics of Change in the Health Care Arena in the United States, Britain, and Canada

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Health care reform has become one of the most prevalent topics in recent policy discourse within and across nations. In the 1990s, common features of the health care arena elevated the importance of bargaining relationships among large, sophisticated entities as the dominant mode of decision-making, fundamentally challenging the traditional dominance of the medical profession, which had been grounded in individualized "agency" relationships between providers and patients. These developments have played out in varying ways around the globe. Carolyn Hughes Tuohy looks at the experiences of the United States, Britain, and Canada, offering an international comparative study of public policy systems, as well as a recent history of the evolution of each national health care system. What drives change in health care systems? Why do certain changes occur in some nations and not in others? Tuohy argues that the answer lies in understanding the "accidents" of history that have shaped national systems at critical moments and in the distinctive "logics" of these systems. Her study carefully delineates both the common logic of the health care arena, deriving from micro-economic characteristics and technological change, and the particular logics of national systems, put in place by specific episodes of policy change. She goes on to explore how in the wake of these episodes, the mixed market in the United States, hierarchical corporatism in Britain, and the single-payer system in Canada determined the subsequent direction and pace of change in all three countries. Finally, Tuohy provides suggestions to guide the strategic judgments that decision-makers must make within the health care system of each country. Accidental Logics uniquely departs from the descriptive literature currently available by presenting an extensive review of the evidence regarding the evolution of the health care arenas in the United States, Britain, and Canada, integrated within an explanatory framework. It is essential up-to-date reading for political scientists working in comparative politics and public policy, health policy analysts, government agency officials, and students in political science, health policy, and administration more

Product details

  • Hardback | 326 pages
  • 162.1 x 239.8 x 28.7mm | 716.61g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0195128214
  • 9780195128215
  • 2,044,061

Review quote

The impressive book gives a detailed account of how different countries have responded to new but similar problems in the area of health care. It emphasizes the persistence of national traditions and the impact of decisions taken decades ago on current change, thus providing a clear and convincing application of the path dependency thesis. But it goes further than this by specifying the conditions that permit structural change in health care policy. In this respect, it marks a major step forward in our understanding of how health policy, and public policies in general, are made. * Ian Gough, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath * An intellectually exciting book. An important theoretical contribution on path dependency in public policy, and a compelling reminder that different countries can and do chart distinctive approaches to heath care even in a global era. * Keith Banting, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University, Ontario * ...a terrific book. Carolyn Tuohy makes the extraordinarily complex world of health care reform understandable even to non-experts, showing how past policy choices have caused three countries to address health care cost pressures in strikingly different ways. It is must reading for serious students of the welfare state. * Kent Weaver, Senior Fellow in Governmental Studies, The Brookings Institution * Carolyn Tuohy's new book is splendid, the most significant scholarly work in comparative health politics and policy in the last two decades. Aiming to understand both change and continuity in American, Canadian, and British medical policy in the half-century after W.W.II, Tuohy manages both to do that and to make a theoretical contribution to the political analysis of public policy. No other recent work is of comparable scope and skill-a book, in short, worth reading by anyone seriously interested in politics, economics, and sociology of modern medical care. * Theodore R. Marmor, Professor of Public Policy & Management, Yale University * This is a ground-breaking book. It combines conceptual rigour with formidable empirical scholarship. It si elegantly written and subtly argued. Not only is it an indispensible read for health policy specialists. But its intellectually tough approach should interest anyone in the business of analysing public policy comparatively, whether or not they are concerned about health policy. * Rudolf Klein, Centre for the Study of Public Policy * What we have lacked is a conceptual framework for systematically describing, analysing and comparing paths... The great merit of Carolyn Tuohy's book is that it addresses this issue... Thjis is a ground-breaking book. It combines conceptual rigour with formidable scholarship. It is elegantly written and subtly argued... Not only is it an indispensible read for health policy specialists. But its intellectually tough approach should interest anyone in the business of analysing public policy comparatively, whether or not they are concerned about health policy. * Rudolf Klein, Public Policy Vol.20 No.1 * Combining a mastery of empirical data and of theory, Professor Tuohy has produced the most sophisticated and illuminating account yet of how and why nations differ in their health policies. An indispensable read for health policy specialists, it is also an invaluable addition to the comparativist literature. * Rudolf Klein, Senior Associate, King's Fund, London *show more

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Understanding the Dynamics of Change in the Health Care Arena ; PART I: EPISODES OF POLICY CHANGE ; 2. The Establishment of the Welfare State in the Health Care Arena ; 3. The Reforms of the 1990s ; 4. Ideas, Institutions, Interests, and Actors and the Accidents of Policy Episodes ; PART II: THE DISTINCTIVE LOGICS OF NATIONAL SYSTEMS ; 5. The US: The Logic of the Mixed Market ; 6. Britain: The Logic of Corporatism Meets the Internal Market ; 7. Canada: The Logic of the Single-Payer System ; 8. Conclusion ; References ; Indexshow more

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