In this article, we investigate developments in Danish health care policy. After a short presentation of its historical roots, we focus on the decades after the administrative reform of 1970, which shaped the current decentralized public health care system. Theories of path dependency and institutional inertia are used to explain the relative stability in the overall structure, and theories of policy process and reform are used to discuss gradual changes within the overall framework. Although comprehensive reforms have not taken place in Denmark, many gradual changes may pave the way for more radical changes in the future. The political climate currently seems to be more favorable toward structural reform than in the past.
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© 2005 by Duke University Press