Health Care Politics and Policy in America

Health Care Politics and Policy in America

Health Care Politics and Policy in America

Health Care Politics and Policy in America

Synopsis

Fully updated in this new edition, Health Care Politics and Policy in America combines a historical overview of U. S. health policy and programs with analysis of current trends and reform efforts.

The book

-- shows how health policy fits into the larger social, economic, political, and ideological environment of the United States;

-- identifies the roles played by both public and private, institutional and individual actors in shaping the health care system at all levels;

-- considers the trade-offs inherent in various policy choices and their impacts on different social groups;

-- takes account of the dynamic impact of technological change on health care capacities, costs, and ethics.

This edition includes expanded discussion of equity issues and whether there is a "right" to health care, and a new chapter on the issue of medical liability. The concluding chapter brings the story of health care policy up to the end of the millennium, with particular attention to the managed care revolution and reaction to it.

The book equips readers with the basic tools for drawing more informed judgments in the ongoing debate about health care policy in the United States.

Excerpt

Kant Patel has been involved in a number of joint projects. For Mark Rushefsky, this book is his first with a coauthor. Patel began working on the book while on a sabbatical in the spring of 1991. Rushefsky joined the project in 1994. It has been an interesting experience for both of us. We do not have the same kind of work habits. One of us (we won't tell you which one) is very meticulous and organized; the other is considerably more scattered and sloppy. This has sometimes led to noisy discussions and scampering to find things. This is the kind of book Felix and Oscar, the Odd Couple, might have written! One adjustment we did make was that the neat, meticulous one kept all the papers and files because the other misplaced his. Nevertheless, it worked out well, and we have future projects in mind. of course, the fact that we share some common interests in professional basketball (and computer games) helped the relationship. Patel, who is from Houston, roots for the Houston Rockets. Rushefsky, from New York, is a lifelong, avid, irrational Knicks fan. This project somehow managed to survive the 1994 nba finals when the two teams met. Because the Rockets won, Patel's name is listed first! Because the Rockets won again in 1995 (even Rushefsky approved), Patel's name will appear first in our next project.

Both of us have had a long involvement in health care, dating back to the 1970s. Rushefsky first became interested in health care when his wife, Cindy, began teaching childbirth classes in rural Rocky Mount, Virginia. She trained some of the nurses and the wife of the administrator of the local rural hospital (about ten miles along winding mountain roads from where they lived), and that hospital maintained rather than closed its maternity ward. That was fortunate for them when their second child, Leah, was born shortly after midnight on Halloween. They just made it that ten miles to the hospital. Had that hospital not maintained its birthing facilities, they would have had to go another twenty-five miles to Roanoke. Given the speed with which Leah was born (so fast that she beat the doctor to the delivery room!), Rushefsky half-jokingly says that had she not been born in Rocky Mount . . .

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