Health and government intersect on many levels – though laws created by the federal and state legislative bodies, rulings within the judicial system, regulations drafted by federal and state agencies, and laws and measures that are put to public votes. Health care policy is shaped through a combination of all of these decision-making arenas at the local, state and federal level.
The legal system helps define the roles and responsibilities of different players in the health care system. For example, state and federal laws have been used to set the minimum standards that affect the provision of health care, the scope of health coverage, public program policy, consumer protections, as well as the regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The judicial system also oversees and enforces malpractice compensation that help protect patients and doctors as well as policies that affect patient privacy and patient rights.
This section contains links to key research, policy analysis, and the latest data and statistics on health policy and government.