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Should a Reformed System be Prepared for Public Health Emergencies, and What Does that Mean, Anyway?

December 19, 2008
by Jeffrey Levi, PhD and Rebecca Katz, PhD
Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics

A typical discussion around health reform in the U.S. focuses on how the nation can most effectively and efficiently extend insurance coverage to the rising number of people who have none. Furthermore, discussions about health care reform typically are centered on times of normalcy, when the health care system is not overly taxed and there is the luxury of time to think about everyday matters of health and health care, including health care services needed to prevent illness, treat conditions, and address individual emergencies. But in light of the lessons learned over the past decade, it is also essential to consider how any reformed health care system will react to and mitigate the consequences of a public health emergency.

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