What Government Can Do

Benjamin I. Page*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the obstacles to egalitarian policies for health care. One is the decentralized nature of American politics, characterized by separation of powers and federalism, which provides multiple veto points for stopping new programs. The second factor is a high degree of political inequality that enables small but active and affluent groups of individuals and corporations to prevent major egalitarian policy changes. The chapter also suggests that removing the obstacles to egalitarian programs is possible through four political strategies: (1) organize, particularly at the grass roots; (2) build incrementally toward long-term goals; (3) think big and seize opportunities when they arise; and (4) reform the political process itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealthy, Wealthy, and Fair
Subtitle of host publicationHealth Care and the Good Society
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199850204
ISBN (Print)9780195170665
StatePublished - Oct 3 2011


  • Egalitarian policies
  • Federalism
  • Health care
  • Political inequality
  • Politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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