Depression is among the most significant health problems in American society, not only in human terms, but in economic and social terms as well. Depression also serves as a useful lens for citizens in exploring the governance of health care more generally. The future of medical care in the United States has been a major concern for policymakers. While there have been numerous proposals for how medical care will be financed as it expands and continues to grow more expensive, there has been much less attention on health care support. In the past fifty years, health care has evolved from a family-focused delivery system for many routine illnesses and situations to one that relies almost completely on the formal health care system (doctors, hospitals).
This discussion guide focuses on exploring alternative public policy possibilities as they relate to public policy for health care and for the treatment of depression in particular.
The six contrasting policy possibilities in this discussion guide:
- Universalize Coverage & Individualize Care;
- Universalize Coverage & Enhance Client Participation;
- Support the Supporters;
- Stimulate Social Interaction and Provide Community Support;
- Meet Basic Human Needs; and
- Accelerate Research and Development.
As a further aid to discussion of this topic, we have also developed six draft Exploratory Situations, or fact patterns to highlight many of the concerns and challenges outlined by the policy possibilities.