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Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform, Revised Edition
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Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform, Revised Edition

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  164 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In no other country has health care served as such a volatile flashpoint of ideological conflict. America has endured a century of rancorous debate on health insurance, and despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the battle is not yet over. This book is a history of how and why the United States became so stubbornly different in health care, presented by an ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Yale University Press (first published May 31st 2011)
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Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To paraphrase Arthur Schlesinger Jr, “in a democracy politics is about something more than the struggle for power or the manipulation of an image. It is above all about the search for remedy.” Reform and Reaction is a history of the effort to find remedies that address the needs of the uninsured and underinsured as well as curtail the growth in healthcare expenditures.

Efforts to date on both objectives have fallen short. The US has extended coverage to a portion of the population--elderly, child
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a very accessible history of health care reform. Starr wrote a Pulitzer-winning history of American medicine and was an insider who helped shape Clinton's health care plan. He gives a brief history of how America's piecemeal approach to health care has led to the overly complex and sometimes ineffective system we have now, and how both Democratic and Republican attempts to overhaul it have run aground due to its complexity and Americans who are just satisfied enough with their coverage t ...more
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A tremendously boring procedural book on healthcare legislation history. The author walks a narrow, dull line between characterizing and examining the players and exploring the ramifications of the new law. It's notable for neither and is overly simplistic, with a liberal slant that is not well masked nor justified by the content.

Adding a bit more since I'm off the plane.

Specifically, Starr sees the passage of the legislation as an achievement in and of itself. He's less concerned with the issu
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I've fallen in love with Paul Starr's mind! He's written a superb history of the politics of health care in America. I'll admit that it took a couple of weeks to get through, but that's because I got a little exercized at the notion that the U.S. alone of all the G20 countries, fails to provide for the health of all its citizens. Nothing I didn't know, but seeing the timeline of inequality laid out, complete with the well-meaning proponents being struck down at every turn... 'Nuff said.
The culmi
Thomas Stevenson
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely thorough history of America's failed attempts at providing health care for citizens. Even the ACA turns out to have been crafted by too many giveaways. Starr is very good at explaining the opposition's concerns that having government provide coverage results in "a loss of freedom". He is less good at explaining why getting a subsidized service you didn't have, probably couldn't afford and will certainly need is seen as a loss of freedom.
Play by play policy cum history leading to Obamacare/ACA. Informative but too interested in inside baseball in Congress and the White House. More explanation of some of the unerlying law and economics would have been helpful. Generally good. Starr's earliy book (Social Transformation of American Medicine) was way better.
Not exactly a page turner but I was glad to have some solid facts about health care reform in the USA. I also read his Social History of Medicine which was just as informative and dry. Did a lot of skimming in both books.
Samuel Parish
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical overview of America's healthcare predicament and the future hope that the Affordable Care Act has instituted.Well worth reading. Paul Starr never disappoints. Good work.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit dry, but definitely worth reading.
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book about the history of healthcare reform. Really makes you realize the complexities of the system and how we got here.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, healthcare
Excellent review of the politics of healthcare reform from Pre-Clinton on to 2010.
Much emphasis on history and less on the actual reform. If you're looking for the latter, I suggest Jon McDonough's treatise on the subject.
Jun 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
The first half read like a dry textbook, but this book is worth it for the analysis of ACA philosophy alone. Certainly a useful tool to actually be informed in health care debates!
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential reading if you want to understand how we got to where we are when it comes to healthcare reform.
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easily digestible chronicle of healthcare policy and politics in the US. Left me wanting for more detail in places, so you might say it's a victim of its own success.
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