Many versions of the stages approach to the public policy process begin with the idea that some sort of problem comes to policy makers’ and the mass public’s attention. If enough people believe that a problem exists, and that government can provide at least a partial solution to that problem, the problem moves further “up” the agenda toward some form of government action. A purely rationalist approach to the policy process might assume that problems make themselves known and become self-evident simply because they exist and bad things result. An airplane crash, or earthquake, or nuclear power plant accident can lead people to ask what could have been done to prevent the event, or to at least mitigate its worst effects. When people suffer from disease, we learn about disease and suffering from the statistics gathered by physicians, health insurance companies, health departments, and from other sources. If enough people in a particular place and time fall ill, we notice that a potential epidemic may be in progress, and we expect our health system to respond to this emergent problem.