The Role of Government
The governments at the national, state, and local levels play a substantial role in almost every dimension of our healthcare system. Together, they are the largest insurer in the country. They run public hospitals and clinics as well as entire delivery systems like the Veteran’s Administration. They sponsor research that enables us to better understand diseases and treatments. In this section, we focus on one particular role of government: public health. Other important government roles will be discussed in more detail in later chapters.
For the most part, our healthcare system focuses on treating individual patients. Government complements this by investing in public health in order to protect and improve ...