[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 34.204.202.44. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Curated health policy research and original commentary from across the JAMA Network
health-forum_ChannelsBanner
[Skip to Content Landing]
JAMA Forum

Health and Taxes

Health care shows up on the political agenda in 2 very different ways, as a social issue and a budget issue. These 2 views prompt very different sets of questions and also shape how the 2 major political parties focus their respective efforts in the health care arena.

Viewing health care through the lens of a social issue prompts such questions as: What policies would best improve the population’s health? How can report cards be used to improve the quality of surgery? Where are there opportunities for additional disease prevention? The questions here are intricate and detailed. Some of the issues are clinical, and advice from physicians is actively sought and welcomed.  For example, no one would develop a pay-for-performance system for surgeons without extensive involvement of the relevant surgical societies.  Other issues are environmental, and physicians (unfortunately) have had less to say.  Despite the important role of physicians in encouraging smoking cessation and reducing unnecessary prescriptions of opiate medications, in terms of policy efforts to reduce tobacco consumption and cut back on addictive medications, the physician community as a whole has mostly ceded this work to public health specialists.  Still, the goal in both disease management and public health is squarely on health as the important outcome.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    ×