Reinventing American Health Care
Health care is the largest employer in America, one of the largest perceived drains on the budget of the Federal government, a system with the capacity to bankrupt entire state economies, and one of the areas of personal expenditure that gives individual American citizens most financial anxiety. It matters like almost no other dimension of the government and private sector. Yet the system is widely misunderstood, and is a confusing maze to most of us who feel crushed by its complexities quite as much as we feel served by its doctors and nurses.
Reinventing American Health Care explains why the American health care system is the way it is (why, for instance hospitals are so dominant), and the five problems that confront any attempt at reform. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Nixon all came to power promising universal coverage, and all failed. Emanuel explains how this happened by way of showing how extraordinary the passage of the Affordable Care Act was: it completely bucked the trend, in the face of some very tough political circumstances. With his unique insider’s view, Emanuel explains why the Affordable Care Act took the shape it did, and in particular examines the political role of the American Medical Association. He then projects how the ACA will affect health care in the future, laying out the likely areas where further reform will be necessary.