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Debates on U.S. Health Care

Debates on U.S. Health Care

Edited by:

September 2012 | 592 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This issues-based reference work (available in both print and electronic formats) shines a spotlight on health care policy and practice in the United States. Impassioned debates about the best solutions to health care in America have perennially erupted among politicians, scholars of public policy, medical professionals, and the general public. The fight over the Health Care Reform Act of 2010 brought to light a multitude of fears, challenges, obstacles, and passions that often had the effect of complicating rather than clarifying the debate. The discourse has never been more heated. The complex issues that animate the health care debate have forced the American public to grapple with the exigencies of the present system with regard to economic, fiscal, and monetary policy, especially as they relate to philosophical, often ideologically driven approaches to the problem. Americans have also had to examine their ideas about the relationship of the individual to and interaction with the state and the varied social and cultural beliefs about what an American solution to the problem of health care looks like. In light of the need to keep students, researchers, and other interested readers informed and up-to-date on the issues surrounding health care in the U.S., this volume uses introductory essays followed by point/counterpoint articles to explore prominent and perennially important debates, providing readers with views on multiple sides of this complex issue.

Features & Benefits:

  • The volume is divided into three sections, each with its own Section Editor: Quality of Care Debates (Dr. Jennie Kronenfeld), Economic & Fiscal Debates (Dr. Mark Zezza), and Political, Philosophical, & Legal Debates (Prof. Wendy Parmet).
  • Sections open with a Preface by the Section Editor to introduce the broad theme at hand and provide historical underpinnings.
  • Each Section holds 12 chapters addressing varied aspects of the broad theme of the section.
  • Chapters open with an objective, lead-in piece (or "headnote") followed by a point article and a counterpoint article.
  • All pieces (headnote, point article, counterpoint article) are signed.
  • For each chapter, students are referred to further readings, data sources, and other resources as a jumping-off spot for further research and more in-depth exploration.
  • Finally, the volume concludes with a comprehensive index, and the electronic version of the book includes search-and-browse features, as well as the ability to link to further readings cited within chapters should they be available to the library in electronic format.

Philosophical, Political, and Legal Debates Introduction
Foundational Debates
Moral Significance of Health Care
Health Care and Human Health
Health Care as a Human Right
Individual Responsibility for Health
The Role of the Market in Health Care
Racial Disparities in Health Status and Accessing Health Care
Single-Payer Health Care System
Health Care Reform Debates
Public Opinion and Health Care Reform
States' Rights and Health Care Reform
Liberty and the Individual Mandate
Federal Authority Over the Individual Mandate
Underserved Communities and Health Care Reform
Abortion and Reproductive Health Services
Reforming Medical Malpractice Liability
Economic and Fiscal Debates Introduction
Expanding Coverage
Individual Mandate
Insurance Regulation
Insurance Exchanges
Employer Mandate
Paying for Reform and Bending the Cost Curve
Deficit Reduction
Tax Treatment of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Taxing High-Cost (Cadillac) Plans
Price Transparency
Accountable Care Organizations
Independent Payments Advisory Board
Medicare Negotiation of Drug Pricing
Medicaid Program Flexibility
Quality Debates Introduction
Providers and Quality
Primary Care
Nurse Practitioners and Physicians' Assistants
Female Physicians
Ethnic Background of Physicians and Patients
Home Care
Treatment Methods and Quality
Centralized Versus Decentralized Control
Comparative Effectiveness Research
Information Technology Adoption
Cost and Quality
Medicare Benefit Cuts
High-Deductible Health Insurance Plans

Debates on U.S. Healthcare would be a valuable addition to public libraries and academic libraries. It would benefit students, researchers, voters, and anyone else interested in gaining a better understanding of health-care reform in the U.S.

would be a valuable addition to public libraries and academic libraries. It would benefit students, researchers, voters, and anyone else interested in gaining a better understanding of health-care reform in the U.S.


It focuses less on policy, which may become dated, and more on the philosophies behind the health care debate. It would be an excellent addition to any library serving an undergraduate population.


Will be of interest to public, special, and academic libraries interested in health care reform, including those with a focus on medical economics, ethics, and social services.

Laurie Selwyn
Library Journal

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