One of the most urgent issues facing the United States today is how to establish a comprehensive health insurance program at a time when nearly one in seven Americans lack insurance and costs for health care and medical fees are increasing at about 20 percent annually. An interdisciplinary team of experts provides a unique overview of the most important current problems and speaks to the key questions of risk, allocation, and equity. This text is designed for college, university, and professional courses in health and medical policy, public policy, public administration, law and society, bioethics, nursing, science and technology, and hospital administration. This public policy study offers a general framework for assessing health insurance from many vantage points, in terms of health policy impacts, the care of the needy, health insurance implementation, and prevention and risk. Chapters assess various national health insurance proposals, current congressional action and Medicare decisions, the social impacts of health insurance policy, coverage for displaced workers, the uninsured and hospital care in the inner city, charity care and community benefits, insuring high-risk persons, preventive health care screening for older women, and medical malpractice insurance, among other subjects. These analyses with real-life examples provide a solid introduction to all who want to understand health insurance and public policy issues today.