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Abstract

One tool that our government can use to combat our healthcare challenges is the use of health policy in the form of programs, regulations, and agencies that are aimed at improving the overall health and welfare of Americans. Of the various approaches to shaping health policy, this paper will focus on the use of “nudges,” a behavioral strategy for shaping human behavior from the framework, Libertarian Paternalism. In this Article, a nudge is defined as any aspect of choice architecture or any method of structuring the choice environment that influences behavior in a predictable way, with the restriction that this tool may not constrain or remove choices nor can it significantly increase the cost associated with any of the options. This definition is largely consistent with the original conception by Thaler and Sunstein. This work was informed by the author’s participation in the Behavioral Science & Policy Association working group on the application of insights from behavioral economics to health and healthcare. The working group produced a report, jointly commissioned by the Behavioral Science and Policy Association and the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, that identified opportunities for federal-level behavioral policy interventions to improve the health and well-being of Americans.

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