Term of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Rosemarie Stallworth-Clark

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Stephen Jenkins

Committee Member 3

Joseph Crosby

Abstract

This theoretical inquiry sought to critically analyze the various ideological and political aspects of the culture of health care reform in the United States (US) and to investigate the underlying ideologies, values, and purposes of medical practice in a changing democratic society. Using Michel Foucault's cultural studies approach as the theoretical framework for the study, agent and client relationships within the US health care system were examined in efforts to describe the articulation between the health care crisis and the government's social responsibility to prevent the imminent bankruptcy of its health care system. State and national data were collected from governmental web sites of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This data describes the percentage of the uninsured population in both Georgia and US; total health care costs of the private and public sector in the US; total health care costs in both Georgia and the US; breakdown of health care costs in Georgia; breakdown of health care costs in US; and the Medicare allowables for five random current procedural terminology (CPT) codes. Socioeconomic trends in the US indicate a health care crisis. This study revealed the numbers of uninsured citizens in this country are steadily increasing and the economic impact on these individuals, as well as the rest of the country, is devastating. Literally every hospital in the US is subsidized by the federal and/or state government for indigent and charity care. Therefore, the tax payers ultimately pay for medical care for these individuals. All in all, there is a tremendous financial and health strain to the entire nation because of the uninsured problem in the US. Implications of this study included the following: the health care industry must to do a better job of educating patients on health care issues; catastrophic insurance can provide a useful solution to protect patients from rising costs; patients must begin to think preventive instead of curative; tax deductions should be extended to individuals to pay for health insurance; and a nationwide information system should be implemented.

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