Mother of Invention: How the Government Created Free-Market Health Care

Hardcover | December 13, 2013

byRobert I. Field

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By relying on private enterprise more than any other developed nation, American health care has all the appearances of free-market in action. And for more than a hundred years, attempts to reform this system (including President Obama's Affordable Care Act) have been met with opposition fromparties warning against the stifling effect of government intervention.What these warnings about federal overreach overlook is the fact that the federal government has long been an indispensible player in guiding and supporting the current US health care system. Its role is so pervasive and of such longstanding importance that it is easy to overlook, but it actuallycreated American health care as we know it today.Seminal public programs stand behind every segment of America's massive and hugely profitable health care industry. This is not to deny the instrumental roles of private entrepreneurship and innovation, but rather to describe the foundation on which they rest. The industry's underlying driving forceis a massive partnership between the public and private spheres. The partnership is complex, and its effects are not always ideal. But for better or worse, it shapes every aspect of what we in the United States know as health care.Mother of Invention traces the government's role in building four key health care sectors into the financial powerhouses they are today: pharmaceuticals, hospitals, the medical profession, and private insurance. It traces their history, surveys their growth, and highlights some of their greatestsuccess stories, which together reveal the indispensible role of public initiatives in contemporary private health care.Only by understanding what actually drives our system can we appreciate possibilities for meaningful reform or comprehend the true context - historically and politically - of the Obama plan.

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By relying on private enterprise more than any other developed nation, American health care has all the appearances of free-market in action. And for more than a hundred years, attempts to reform this system (including President Obama's Affordable Care Act) have been met with opposition fromparties warning against the stifling effect o...

Robert I. Field is Professor of Law and Professor of Health Management and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he primarily teaches courses in health law and health policy. He has written extensively on the American health care system and has authored a comprehensive overview of health care regulation, Health Care Regula...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:December 13, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199746753

ISBN - 13:9780199746750

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Table of Contents

Preface1. What's Private About the Free Market?2. The Government and the Private Market in Health Care3. How the Government Created the Pharmaceutical Industry4. How the Government Created the Hospital Industry5. How the Government Created the Medical Profession6. How the Government Created Private Health Insurance7. The Distinctively American System that the Government Created8. Health Reform, Government Initiative, and the Future of American Health CareSelected BibliographyNotes