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Center for Policy Research

Policy Brief

Improving Public Health Safety Nets after an Economic Recession

Sanjay Basu

C.P.R. Policy Brief No. 50

September 2014


When we say "here’s what’s going on with our nation’s health," how do we know the answer? Where is the data coming from? How can we best evaluate our public health system? We’re talking about it every day on CNN given the Ebola scare. What do we mean by our "public health system"? The author argues that we should expand our definition to mean something more than hospitals and clinics, or doctors and nurses. In particular, the author argues that some of our non-health programs that we have as part of the safety net actually make a bigger health impact than some of our public health programs. In trying to pursue the answer to the question of why this is the case can lend us some pretty important insights.

Sponsored by the The Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture series, which is jointly sponsored by Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., and is administered by the Center for Policy Research and The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion.

The Center for Policy Research Policy Brief series is a collection of essays on current public policy issues in aging; urban and regional studies; education finance and accountability; public finance; social welfare, poverty, and income security; and related research done by or on behalf of the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

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