The American Healthcare system is at a crossroads. On the eve of sweeping health reform, the United States is preparing to embark on the largest expansion of health insurance in its history while simultaneously trying to recover from the slowest period of economic expansion. The economic and political stakes of health policy could not be higher. As the baby boomer population continues to enter the Medicare eligibility phase of their lives, scarcity of physicians and hospital care could reverse the improvements in quality of life enjoyed by Americans for over a century. How did America get to this point? Was it a random set of events? Could the current health care crisis that drove the first comprehensive health reform initiative been avoided?
Seeking answers to these questions, Physician Larry N. Smith, M.D. and Professor of Health Finance Stephen T. Parente, Ph.D. review the historic moments that drove the field of medicine from ancient health art to the modern industrial colossus it has become in “Medicine's Journey through Ignorance, Bigotry, Poverty, and Politics to America’s Uninsured: Historically Based Solutions for Today's Healthcare Problems”. Representing the medical and economic professions Smith and Parente offer a unique, research-backed view of the way health care has changed over the centuries. Beginning with Hippocrates’ foundations of Western medicine in ancient Greece, the authors carry the reader through the centuries to 20th century America, where a progressive movement pushed government to play a central role in health care delivery. The rich history of the battle for health reform spanning over 100 years, reveals the political undercurrents that ultimately made possible the social and political conditions that enabled the passage of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).
After the diagnosis is rendered on the limitations and risks of ACA, Smith and Parente offer a set of health policy treatments to improve the prognosis of the currently unaffordable and unsustainable health insurance expansion. They outline alternatives that would have accomplished the same goals at the ACA in a less intrusive and more affordable manner.
Few Americans may fully understand the legal, financial and constitutional implications that the ACA will have on the nation’s future. All those who support or oppose the ACA should take the time to understand the historic origins of the most controversial public policy since the end of the Cold War. Weaving economics, politics and health, “Medicine's Journey through Ignorance, Bigotry, Poverty and Politics to America’s Uninsured” is a timely book with a series of treatments designed to restore American health care to one of the most dynamic, compassionate and effective industries on the world.
About Larry N. Smith M.D.
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Published August 31, 2012
by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Professional & Technical.