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The theme of this paper is that government does not determine health policy but rather provides a vehicle for expression of the collective, sometimes combative, and always compromised interests of parties in the United States which are affected by health policy choices. After a discussion of the structure and function of government, in which the author looks at the mechanisms of policy, he uses two examples to illustrate his theme: national health insurance and medical manpower policy.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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