Congress plays an important role in shaping U.S. health care policy, and within Congress, committees play the lead policy-making role. To determine the range and extent of committee involvement on health issues, I examine nine health issue categories over a fifteen-year period (1979–1993) to discover how both “legislative” and “nonlegislative” committee jurisdictions differ across three dimensions: congressional chambers, committees within those chambers, and specific health issue categories. Then, to capture differences across a fourth dimension, time, I also calculate annual measures of jurisdiction “concentration” for legislative and nonlegislative jurisdictions. Together, the jurisdiction differences across the four dimensions provide a comprehensive view of congressional committee jurisdiction arrangements surrounding health issues. I find that the differences in jurisdiction across each dimension follow general patterns resulting from institution-specific factors (e.g., rules, norms) and from issue-specific factors (e.g., salience, complexity). Recognizing these dimensions and their respective patterns helps us understand the power that committees exercise over health issues.
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John W. Hardin; An in-Depth Look at Congressional Committee Jurisdictions Surrounding Health Issues. J Health Polit Policy Law 1 June 1998; 23 (3): 517–550. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03616878-23-3-517
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