Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking Abroad For Public Policy Insight

In many discussions of public policy governments and policy experts look to other countries or states for ideas and evidence of results of policy choices. Often public policy is copied from other governments and adapted to fit a new structure. For example in recent New York City transportation initiatives Janette Sadik-Khan looked to Copenhagen for policy direction. This is a very efficient way of evaluating and understanding policy options. It reduces the time, energy and pecuniary costs of formulating new policy proposals.

With that said, Alex Massie, writing the The Spectator, asks why "no-one sees fit to copy the American system?" He is of course asking about health care. I am sure some will answer this query with a response as dumb as "they're socialists." As if the rest of the world were socialists. Even if the rest of the world were socialists would that preclude them from acknowledging the positive efficacy of the American health system is there was such an effect. The power of its success would draw people to adapt a more American approach, but that doe not happen.

Massie writes:
"In Britain you worry what will happen when you fall ill; many Americans worry about what will happen if you fall ill. Will your insurance cover you? Often (but not always), yes it will and the best American care probably is better than the best British care, but there's a greater psychological security to the British system."
As Massie asserts Americans worry about what will happen if you fall ill while Brits worry about what will happen when you fall ill. It is a strange distinction but a very important one.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites