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HLTA02H3 (134)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Toba Bryant

Chapter 8: Politics, Public Policy, and Population Health by Toba Bryant What is Public Policy? Public policy is a course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a given problem or interrelated set of problems. Policy is a course of action that is anchored in a set of values regarding appropriate public goals and a set of beliefs about the best way of achieving these goals. The idea of public policy assumes that an issue is no longer a private affair (Wolf, 2005, p.1) Esping-Anderson: primary concern of modern welfare states is to provide sufficient economic resources to support citizens across lifespan Changes in occupational structure of post industrial societies require accumulation of cognitive and social capital among citizens, especially children Importance of societal supports for significant transitions across lifespan such as entering and leaving school, gaininglosing employment and, retirement o Supports include provision of income and employment, security, equitable distribution of resources, educational and training opportunities Political economists examine variety of indicators that reflect govt commitments to achieve well- functioning economy and vibrant, healthy society Overall Spending on Transfers Organization for economic co-operation and development (OECD): provides indicators of govt operations, including provision of supports and services o Important indicator is govt transfers: govt taking fiscal resources that are generated by economy and distributing them to population as services, monetary supports, investments in social infrastructure Developed nations of OECD spend average of 21% of GDP on public social expenditure o Sweden spends 31% of GDP o
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