Catalogue


Dead on arrival [electronic resource] : the politics of health care in twentieth-century America /
Colin Gordon.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2003.
description
xiii, 316 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0691058067 (alk. paper), 9780691058061 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2003.
isbn
0691058067 (alk. paper)
9780691058061 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8839381
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Colin Gordon is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Iowa.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This is a bold, clearly written, and engaging analysis of the place of universal health insurance in the American welfare state. It represents a serious argument about the American political arena, presents a plausible argument for its position, and backs that up with a standard of scholarship I respect."--Ted Marmor, Yale University, author ofThe Politics of Medicare
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-06-01:
The United States is alone among industrial democracies in having no national health insurance system, even as polls show large majorities of Americans favoring one. This comprehensive and convincing academic study illuminates this great American political conundrum. Gordon, a historian and author of New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics in America, 1920-35, examines reform efforts from the First World War to the Clinton health plan fiasco, and critiques scholarly explanations of the failure of more ambitious national healthcare initiatives. He explores America's idiosyncratic conception of healthcare as quasi-contractual social insurance and consumer commodity, not a right of citizenship, and its legacy in our ungainly system of private employment-based insurance. He traces the abandonment of national health insurance by its natural allies in the labor movement, which concentrated on protecting its private benefits, and among reformers, who settled for piecemeal programs that serve a portion of the population but undermine the rationale for universal coverage. Most of all, he points to the subservience of the American political system to economic interests. Time and again, he finds, the private healthcare industry has used its financial clout to "throttle" popular reforms through bare-knuckled lobbying, political donations, and PR campaigns associating national health insurance with Communism and vilifying successful Canadian and European systems. The result is a muddled system driven by the contradictory demands of doctors, hospitals, insurers and employers, one that generates the world's highest medical bills while leaving millions uninsured. Gordon synthesizes an enormous amount of scholarly research into a readable and compelling account of the debate over healthcare policy, one that poses larger questions about the failings of American democracy. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
A treasure trove of information for anyone seriously wishing to tackle this issue.
"A treasure trove of information for anyone seriously wishing to tackle this issue."-- Tom Gallagher, San Francisco Bay Guardian
A welcome addition to a large literature on the modern United States medical system. . . . [It] illuminates the political deadlock and the institutional rigidity of the American system and offers a cogent explanation for why reform has been so intractable in health care throughout the last hundred years.
"A welcome addition to a large literature on the modern United States medical system. . . . [It] illuminates the political deadlock and the institutional rigidity of the American system and offers a cogent explanation for why reform has been so intractable in health care throughout the last hundred years."-- Declan O'Reilly, Enterprise & Society
This is a sophisticated, impassioned, and well-documented analysis of the failures of twentieth-century American health reform efforts.
"This is a sophisticated, impassioned, and well-documented analysis of the failures of twentieth-century American health reform efforts."-- David Rosner, Business History Review
"At a time of renewed popular and scholarly debate over America's exceptional welfare state, students of American public affairs will find much of value in Gordon's timely book."-- Jacob S. Hacker, Political Science Quarterly
Another autopsy of the failure to implement a US national health plan? Yes, butDead on Arrivalis more interesting, informative, and compelling than others. Its strength lies in the integration of multiple social, economic, and political perspectives within a historical context to address the question, why no national health insurance?
"Another autopsy of the failure to implement a US national health plan? Yes, but Dead on Arrival is more interesting, informative, and compelling than others. Its strength lies in the integration of multiple social, economic, and political perspectives within a historical context to address the question, why no national health insurance?"-- Bernard S. Bloom, Journal of the American Medical Association
At a time of renewed popular and scholarly debate over America's exceptional welfare state, students of American public affairs will find much of value in Gordon's timely book.
"[A] brilliantly recounted, thoughtful, and persuasive argument, not for simple explanations, but for a complex, on-the-ground discussion of what it was in the United States that made universal health insurance 'dead on arrival.'. . . [This book] is impeccably and impressively researched, drawing extensively on governmental and private archives."-- Rosemary A. Stevens, Bulletin of the History of Medicine
[A] brilliantly recounted, thoughtful, and persuasive argument, not for simple explanations, but for a complex, on-the-ground discussion of what it was in the United States that made universal health insurance 'dead on arrival.'. . . [This book] is impeccably and impressively researched, drawing extensively on governmental and private archives.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, June 2003
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Summaries
Main Description
Why, alone among industrial democracies, does the United States not have national health insurance? While many books have addressed this question,Dead on Arrivalis the first to do so based on original archival research for the full sweep of the twentieth century. Drawing on a wide range of political, reform, business, and labor records, Colin Gordon traces a complex and interwoven story of political failure and private response. He examines, in turn, the emergence of private, work-based benefits; the uniquely American pursuit of "social insurance"; the influence of race and gender on the health care debate; and the ongoing confrontation between reformers and powerful economic and health interests. Dead on Arrivalstands alone in accounting for the failure of national or universal health policy from the early twentieth century to the present. As importantly, it also suggests how various interests (doctors, hospitals, patients, workers, employers, labor unions, medical reformers, and political parties) confronted the question of health care--as a private responsibility, as a job-based benefit, as a political obligation, and as a fundamental right. Using health care as a window onto the logic of American politics and American social provision, Gordon both deepens and informs the contemporary debate. Fluidly written and deftly argued,Dead on Arrivalis thus not only a compelling history of the health care quandary but a fascinating exploration of the country's political economy and political culture through "the American century," of the role of private interests and private benefits in the shaping of social policy, and, ultimately, of the ways the American welfare state empowers but also imprisons its citizens.
Back Cover Copy
"This is a bold, clearly written, and engaging analysis of the place of universal health insurance in the American welfare state. It represents a serious argument about the American political arena, presents a plausible argument for its position, and backs that up with a standard of scholarship I respect."-- Ted Marmor, Yale University, author of The Politics of Medicare
Short Annotation
Alone among industrial democracies, the United States does not have national health insurance.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Alone among industrial democracies, the United States does not have national health insurance. This study traces the failure of national or universal health policy from the early 20th century to the present.
Main Description
Why, alone among industrial democracies, does the United States not have national health insurance? While many books have addressed this question, Dead on Arrival is the first to do so based on original archival research for the full sweep of the twentieth century. Drawing on a wide range of political, reform, business, and labor records, Colin Gordon traces a complex and interwoven story of political failure and private response. He examines, in turn, the emergence of private, work-based benefits; the uniquely American pursuit of "social insurance"; the influence of race and gender on the health care debate; and the ongoing confrontation between reformers and powerful economic and health interests. Dead on Arrival stands alone in accounting for the failure of national or universal health policy from the early twentieth century to the present. As importantly, it also suggests how various interests (doctors, hospitals, patients, workers, employers, labor unions, medical reformers, and political parties) confronted the question of health care--as a private responsibility, as a job-based benefit, as a political obligation, and as a fundamental right. Using health care as a window onto the logic of American politics and American social provision, Gordon both deepens and informs the contemporary debate. Fluidly written and deftly argued, Dead on Arrival is thus not only a compelling history of the health care quandary but a fascinating exploration of the country's political economy and political culture through "the American century," of the role of private interests and private benefits in the shaping of social policy, and, ultimately, of the ways the American welfare state empowers but also imprisons its citizens.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Introduction: Why No National Health Insurance in the United States?p. 1
The Political Economy of American Health Care: An Overview, 1910-2000p. 12
Bargaining for Health: Private Health Insurance and Public Policyp. 46
Between Contract and Charity: Health Care and the Dilemmas of Social Insurancep. 90
Socialized Medicine and Other Afflictions: The Political Culture of the Health Debatep. 136
Health Care in Black and White: Race, Region, and Health Politicsp. 172
Private Interests and Public Policy: Health Care's Corporate Compromisep. 210
Silenced Majority: American Politics and the Dilemmas of Health Reformp. 261
Conclusion: The Past and Future of Health Politicsp. 297
Archival Sourcesp. 303
Indexp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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