Announcement: The American Health Economy Illustrated Online

I'm excited to announce The American Health Economy Illustrated Online, a new website hosted at the Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota. The print version of my book has been out since early 2012. Packed with more than 200 charts, my book was designed to provide both a "50,000 foot" view of the health economy for policymakers as well as to illustrate how the workings of the health economy affect individual households.

Having this material online provides three important advantages to enhance the easy portability of the print version. First, the site offers access to downloadable versions of every chapter and bullet point (pdf format), every individual chart (PowerPoint format) and even the raw data used to create each chart (Excel). This should be a great resource for people wanting to use the charts for other purposes (e.g. reports, blog posts, presentations) as well as policy scholars, policy analysts, students and even the lay public who are interested in better understanding the sources and methods used to generate each chart, giving them the tools to play around with the data and explore the impact of alternative assumptions or ways of analyzing them.

Second, we have updated and will continue to update these charts and back-up data as new information becomes available. This will be especially important during this period of great turbulence in the American health economy as the Affordable Care Act continues to roll out. Users are able to download PowerPoint versions of the chart exactly as they appear in the book, if desired. But in many cases, they now also can download customizable versions that have updated data.

Third, because the website is built using Connexions software designed expressly for this purpose, it is now much easier for faculty members to assemble a customized reader of the book's content, selecting either individual chapters or even individual "bullet points" in whatever order desired so that the book can easily complement whatever other material they are teaching. Thus, I hope it serves as a useful tool for the academic community, contributing to the education of the next generation of policymakers and scholars.

So I hope this new resource will become a useful resource for a diverse audience of policymakers, their staffs, the health policy community, journalists, teachers, students, and members of the informed public wishing to contribute to the public debate over health/entitlements reform. There can be little doubt that this debate is far from over and would be best conducted by people who are well-informed about how the American health economy really works.

 

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Christopher J.
Conover

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