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Other titles in the What Everyone Needs to Know series:
Health Care Reform and American Politics (What Everyone Needs to Know)by Lawrence R. Jacobs
Synopses & Reviews
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama in March 2010 is a landmark in U.S. social legislation, and the Supreme Court's recent decision upholding the Act has ensured that it will remain the law of the land. The new law extends health insurance to nearly all Americans, fulfilling a century-long quest and bringing the United States to parity with other industrial nations. Affordable Care aims to control rapidly rising health care costs and promises to make the United States more equal, reversing four decades of rising disparities between the very rich and everyone else. Millions of people of modest means will gain new benefits and protections from insurance company abuses - and the tab will be paid by privileged corporations and the very rich.
How did such a bold reform effort pass in a polity wracked by partisan divisions and intense lobbying by special interests? What does Affordable Care mean-and what comes next? In this updated edition of Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol-two of the nation's leading experts on politics and health care policy-provide a concise and accessible overview. They explain the political battles of 2009 and 2010, highlighting White House strategies, the deals Democrats cut with interest groups, and the impact of agitation by Tea Partiers and progressives. Jacobs and Skocpol spell out what the new law can do for everyday Americans, what it will cost, and who will pay. In a new section, they also analyze the impact the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the law. Above all, they explain what comes next, as critical yet often behind-the-scenes battles rage over implementing reform nationally and in the fifty states. Affordable Care still faces challenges at the state level despite the Court ruling. But, like Social Security and Medicare, it could also gain strength and popularity as the majority of Americans learn what it can do for them.
What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
Americaand#8217;s model of representational government rests on the premise that elected officials respond to the opinions of citizens. This is a myth, however, not a reality, according to James N. Druckman and Lawrence R. Jacobs. In Who Governs?, Druckman and Jacobs combine existing research with novel data from US presidential archives to show that presidents make policy by largely ignoring the views of most citizens in favor of affluent and well-connected political insiders. Presidents treat the public as pliable, priming it to focus on personality traits and often ignoring it on policies that fail to become salient.
Melding big debates about democratic theory with existing research on American politics and innovative use of the archives of three modern presidentsand#151;Johnson, Nixon, and Reaganand#151;Druckman and Jacobs deploy lively and insightful analysis to show that the conventional model of representative democracy bears little resemblance to the actual practice of American politics. The authors conclude by arguing that polyarchy and the promotion of accelerated citizen mobilization and elite competition can improve democratic responsiveness. An incisive study of American politics and the flaws of representative government, this book will be warmly welcomed by readers interested in US politics, public opinion, democratic theory, and the fecklessness of American leadership and decision-making.
In Health Care for Some, Beatrix Hoffman offers an engaging and in-depth look at Americaandrsquo;s long tradition of unequal access to health care. She argues that two main features have characterized the US health system: a refusal to adopt a right to care and a particularly American approach to the rationing of care. Health Care for Some shows that the haphazard way the US system allocates medical servicesandmdash;using income, race, region, insurance coverage, and many other factorsandmdash;is a disorganized, illogical, and powerful form of rationing. And unlike rationing in most countries, which is intended to keep costs down, rationing in the United States has actually led to increased costs, resulting in the most expensive health care system in the world.
While most histories of US health care emphasize failed policy reforms, Health Care for Some looks at the system from the ground up in order to examine how rationing is experienced by ordinary Americans and how experiences of rationing have led to claims for a right to health care. By taking this approach, Hoffman puts a much-needed human face on a topic that is too often dominated by talking heads.
About the Author
Lawrence R. Jacobs is the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute and Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.
Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and past president of the American Political Science Association.
Table of Contents
Introduction. A Turning Point for U.S. Health Care and Politics
Timeline of Health Reform Events
Chapter 1. Why Now? Broken Health Care and an Election for Change
Chapter 2. The Year of Pitched Battles: Who Fought for What, Why, and How
Chapter 3. How the Scott Brown Upset Strengthened Health Reform
Chapter 4. What Did They Deliver? The Promise of Affordable Care
Chapter 5. Will Health Care Reform Survive and Succeed?
Glossary of Key People, Groups, Legislation, and Health Care Terms
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