Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Summarize the stages of making public policy and the impact of history and economic systems on that process.
  • Understand the century-long debate surrounding the U.S. health care system and the current efforts to expand coverage.
  • Explain how policy makers weigh benefits and revenues in making decisions about the long-term financial viability of Social Security.
  • Compare and contrast U.S. policy goals of energy security and environmental protection.
  • Analyze how the government influences U.S. economic policy and discuss the potential conflicts and concerns that can result.