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April 8, 1983

An Introduction to the US Health Care System

Author Affiliations

Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pa

JAMA. 1983;249(14):1931-1932. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330380095039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


An eminent authority on health systems both here and abroad, Milton Roemer presents in this volume one of those rare phenomena—an "introduction" that is true to its name. As such, the book stands in marked contrast to other introductory health services texts that tend to swamp the reader in detail but leave him adrift as to basic structure and purpose.

Roemer maintains that any health care provision system, our own included, is best understood according to its performance on eight dimensions: (1) basic ideology and structure, (2) economic support, (3) manpower, (4) facilities, (5) ambulatory services, (6) preventive services, (7) regulatory strategies, and (8) administration and planning. In his first chapter (which accounts for a full third of the book), Roemer previews each of these dimensions and their interrelationships with just enough statistical data and other factual material on American health services to give the reader a solid appreciation for