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Healthcare policy affects not only the cost citizens must pay for care, but also their access to care and the quality of care received, which can influence their overall health.
A top concern for policymakers is the rising cost of healthcare, which has placed an increasing strain on the disposable income of consumers as well as on state budgets.
The 2010 passage of Obamacare introduced experimentation and uncertainty into the industry, which will be watched closely over the next several years to gauge the lasting effects of its policies.
A measurement of the monetary value created by the production of goods and services within a country.
Other issues in healthcare policy include In the early years of the United States, healthcare was provided by wives and mothers in the home, with occasional home visits by doctors.
Medical colleges were established starting in the late 1700s, providing formal scientific training and licensing to physicians.
The healthcare system consists of services provided by medical professionals to diagnose, treat, and prevent mental and physical illness and injury.
In 1846 a group of physicians formed the American Medical Association (AMA) with the early mission of (and achievement of) state regulation of pharmaceuticals.
Gross domestic product (GDP) includes "all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports minus imports," but does not include "black market activity ...
[and] under-the-table employment." GDP is typically used to assess the size and health of a nation's economy.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the 50 state legislatures collectively "make thousands of health policy decisions each year," not including the decisions made by local governments, which often oversee hospitals, and private bodies, such as insurers.
These decisions can include budget appropriations, requirements for doctors obtaining their licenses, which services are covered by insurance, how personal health information is managed, and which immunizations children must receive, among many others.