Matthew Kavanagh (Poli Sci, UPenn): Constitutionalizing Health: Rights, Democracy & Public Policy in South Africa (PDF)
Ashley Tallevi (Poli Sci, UPenn): Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Measuring the Effects of Privatization on Medicaid Self-Reporting (PDF)
THIS MONTH'S PAPERS examine health care policy. In tackling this expansive topic, the presenters look quantitatively and qualitatively at the provision of public health services, public perceptions, and the political economy of health care policy in the U.S. and in South Africa.
Matthew's paper builds a theory of how a constitutional “right to health” impacts health policymaking. Evidence suggests that electoral democracy alone is important but insufficient to significantly improve health, and this project finds quantitative evidence of interaction between electoral democracy and the right to health. The paper presents an initial test of this theory, conducted on a specific health policy case from South Africa.
Ashley's paper looks at how the privatization of government functions influences people's awareness of the government's role. It uses state-level variation in Medicaid administration to test whether privatization of a prominent government program influences awareness of program use and government involvement. In doing so, it explores issues of the "submerged state" and how the invisibility of state functions shapes public perceptions and behaviors.