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Students Drawn To Health Care Policy Challenges

Armen Hareyan's picture

Reuters/Boston Globeon Sunday examined how "hordes of idealistic young people" are "pouringinto health policy classes in economics, political science, history andpublic health departments" in colleges and universities. The popularityof public health schools, health economics, health law and healthbusiness programs is rising, while political science and historydepartments are offering numerous courses focusing on health care andmedical issues.

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According to Reuters/Globe,"Students are drawn by the political debate over how to cover 47million uninsured Americans, the challenge of containing runaway costsand the growing awareness that quality of care is often tragicallyuneven." Harvard Universityeconomist David Cutler said, "There are fascinating economic issues,fascinating politics, fascinating cultural and social issues."

Otherobservers note that young people learn of "quality gaps" through familymembers' experiences within the U.S. health care system, Reuters/Globereports. Students also see health care -- which accounts for one-sixthof the U.S. economy -- as a business opportunity. "Pharmaceuticalcompanies, hospitals, physician group practices -- they all need peopleto run their businesses," Dennis Shea, who teaches health policy atPennsylvania State University, said, adding, "There are a lot of jobsout there" (Kenen, Reuters/Boston Globe, 12/9).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.