Synopses & Reviews
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama in March 2010 is a landmark in U.S. social legislation. 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 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. 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 might end up being weakened. 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.
"Health Care Reform and American Politics provides great insight into what really happened on the road to health care reform. If you really want to know how the system works--and how it doesn't--this is the place to start."--Senator Al Franken
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