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Concepts of Health and National Health Care Policy: A View from American History

Mary Ann Jimenez
Social Service Review
Vol. 71, No. 1 (Mar., 1997), pp. 34-50
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30012605
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Concepts of Health and National Health Care Policy: A View from American History
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Abstract

In this article, I argue that the American conceptions of health that developed in the nineteenth century emphasized individual responsibility for health and viewed sickness as a sign of individual moral failure or ignorance and precluded a collective commitment to community health and well-being. This belief in individual responsibility for prevention of disease and health maintenance continues to inform American attitudes today and is one important reason the United States is the only industrialized country without a national health care policy.

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