While reading the Steinmo and Watts' piece on Comprehensive Health Care in the United States, I couldn't help but compare their writing to the current health care debate in our country. The piece was written in 1995, and I believe that much has changed since then. The passage of the Affordable Care Act has definitely gone against some of the writers' theories and ideas, but I believe their ideas are still somewhat applicable. .
The author begins with a few ideas about why the USA has yet to pass comprehensive national health insurance (NHI). Some of these reasons include an American culture that opposes statism and encourages individualism, therefore any national comprehensive NHI would go against these values, and disapproval of interest groups and what they do, as well as the influence of institutions and their impact on policy. While I agree with the author's argument why culture and interest are not huge contributing factors to policy change, I also think that public opinion plays a large role. The author argues that Americans as a whole are against government intervention and are proponents of individualism. However, the piece references a poll done in the post-war periods that show Americans would not be opposed to NHI. This shows that while Americans hold certain beliefs in general regarding government, there are specific issues that are of more importance to the public. .
Next the author argues that institutions are the main reason why NHI has not yet been passed in the USA. Major political institutions have control over interest groups and the political environment, which can greatly impact policy and legislation. While I agree with this statement generally, I also believe that the public, yet again, is able to control for some changes in policy. Recently, there have been political changes in the USA that would not be talked about or made as large of an issue without public opinion and influence.