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  • Issue Ads and the Health Reform Debate

    Bergan, D., Risner, G.

    The public debate over health care reform in 2009 was carried out partly through issue advertisements aired online and on television. Did these advertisements alter the course of the debate over health care reform? While millions of dollars are spent each year on issue ads, little is known about their effects. Results from a naturalistic online experiment on the effects of issue ads suggest that they can influence the perceived importance of an issue and perceptions of politicians associated with the featured policy while influencing policy support only among those low in political awareness.

    A Window of Opportunity: The Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative

    Gee, R. E., Alletto, M. M., Keck, A. E.

    Louisiana ranks forty-ninth nationally in birth outcomes indicators such as infant mortality and in the percentage of low birth weight and very low birth weight babies. This article describes the formation of the Birth Outcomes Initiative, a statewide targeted investment to reduce poor birth outcomes. It describes how the initiative is a result of the convergence of the triad of well-defined problems, a credible array of potential solutions, and favorable political process. It then describes the Birth Outcomes Initiative in Louisiana, a targeted program to improve health indicators for reproductive-aged women and reduce the incidence of prematurity, low birth weight, and infant mortality.

    Still Broken: Understanding the U.S. Health Care System

    Henderson, R. R.

    Books Received


    The Murky Relationship between Ideology and the Role of Government in Health Policy

    Grogan, C. M.

    Hospitals, Finance, and Health System Reform in Britain and the United States, c. 1910 - 1950: Historical Revisionism and Cross-National Comparison

    Gorsky, M.

    Comparative histories of health system development have been variously influenced by the theoretical approaches of historical institutionalism, political pluralism, and labor mobilization. Britain and the United States have figured significantly in this literature because of their very different trajectories. This article explores the implications of recent research on hospital history in the two countries for existing historiographies, particularly the coming of the National Health Service in Britain. It argues that the two hospital systems initially developed in broadly similar ways, despite the very different outcomes in the 1940s. Thus, applying the conceptual tools used to explain the U.S. trajectory can deepen appreciation of events in Britain. Attention focuses particularly on working-class hospital contributory schemes and their implications for finance, governance, and participation; these are then compared with Blue Cross and U.S. hospital prepayment. While acknowledging the importance of path dependence in shaping attitudes of British bureaucrats toward these schemes, analysis emphasizes their failure in pressure group politics, in contrast to the United States. In both countries labor was also crucial, in the United States sustaining employment-based prepayment and in Britain broadly supporting system reform.

    Perceptions of the Health System and Public Trust in Government in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Evidence from the World Health Surveys

    Rockers, P. C., Kruk, M. E., Laugesen, M. J.

    In low- and middle-income countries, health care systems are an important means by which individuals interact with their government. As such, aspects of health systems in these countries may be associated with public trust in government. Greater trust in government may in turn improve governance and government effectiveness. We identify health system and non – health system f

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