Review of the Week: 3/27/17

Over the last few weeks, health care in America has been a major focus. Our Review of the Week explores this topic in further detail.

Introduction to US health policy : the organization, financing, and delivery of health care in America 4th ed

Barr, Donald A. Johns Hopkins, 2016
431p bibl index, 9781421420714 $100.00, 9781421420721 $55.00, 9781421420738 $55.00

Barr offers a solid introduction to health care policy and delivery in the US. Beginning with a discussion of the politics behind the passage of the ACA, Barr examines how the market economy and American culture have influenced the development of health care, comparing US and Canadian culture to explain the differences between the health care systems. He then reviews virtually all aspects of US health care, giving a historical background and recent developments and ending every chapter with an analysis of the ACA’s impact. Barr concludes that the ACA has reduced the number of uninsured and may yet change the structure of health care. However, he also raises the possibility that “we may either run out of the money or lose the political will to maintain our current system of care.” He also notes that though the ACA may make access to care “a core principle,” as President Obama called it, it is not exactly a right. Given the current debate about the future of the ACA, Barr’s work is essential reading for those who wish to understand health care in the US.

Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.
Reviewer: J. F. Kraus, Wagner College
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Law & Society
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Political Science – U.S. Politics
Choice Issue: Jun 2017