Health Care For Some: Rights And Rationing In The United States Since 1930

Paperback | August 22, 2013

byBeatrix Hoffman

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In Health Care for Some, Beatrix Hoffman offers an engaging and in-depth look at America’s long tradition of unequal access to health care. She argues that two main features have characterized the US health system: a refusal to adopt a right to care and a particularly American approach to the rationing of care. Health Care for Some shows that the haphazard way the US system allocates medical services—using income, race, region, insurance coverage, and many other factors—is a disorganized, illogical, and powerful form of rationing. And unlike rationing in most countries, which is intended to keep costs down, rationing in the United States has actually led to increased costs, resulting in the most expensive health care system in the world.

While most histories of US health care emphasize failed policy reforms, Health Care for Some looks at the system from the ground up in order to examine how rationing is experienced by ordinary Americans and how experiences of rationing have led to claims for a right to health care. By taking this approach, Hoffman puts a much-needed human face on a topic that is too often dominated by talking heads.

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In Health Care for Some, Beatrix Hoffman offers an engaging and in-depth look at America’s long tradition of unequal access to health care. She argues that two main features have characterized the US health system: a refusal to adopt a right to care and a particularly American approach to the rationing of care. Health Care for Some...

Beatrix Hoffman is professor in the Department of History at Northern Illinois University. She is the author of The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Insurance in Progressive America.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:August 22, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022610219X

ISBN - 13:9780226102191

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Table of Contents

Introduction 
Rationing and Rights: History and Definitions     
Prologue: Rights and Rationing before 1930       

Part I: The Struggle for Health Care in the Great Depression
Chapter 1: A Crisis of Access         
Chapter 2: Social Security without Health Security      

Part II: Prosperity and Exclusion, 1941–64
Chapter 3: Health Care at War       
Chapter 4: Rights to Refuse: The Triumph of the Hospital    
Chapter 5: Rationing by Coverage: The Rise of Private Health Insurance  

Part III: New Entitlements and New Movements, 1965–80
Chapter 6: Entitlements but Not Rights: Medicare and Medicaid   
Chapter 7: The Rise of Health Care Activism     

Part IV: Rights vs. Markets, 1981–2008
Chapter 8: Emergency Rooms and Epidemics     
Chapter 9: At the Breaking Point       

Epilogue: Rights, Rationing, and Reform 

Acknowledgments         
Notes           
Glossary          
Bibliography          
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Hoffman’s study could not be more timely. . . .  In lesser hands, the history of U.S. health policy could be a dry and lifeless account that moves from one failed attempt at universal coverage to another over the last century. Hoffman, by contrast, puts flesh on the story, giving voice to those who suffered most from the absence of a health care security net.”