America’s health policy trap

Paul Starr’s new book on health reform

Many years ago, I received a summer fellowship at the Program on Nonprofit Organizations at Yale University. This was great, since my girlfriend at the time worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Now she lives in Illinois.

I was issued a few book that summer. One was written by a past occupant of my own little office. That book–Paul Starr’s Social transformation of American medicine–possibly exceeded my own meager contributions there. Starr’s latest book Remedy and reaction: the peculiar American struggle over health reform is one of the many emerging books chronicling health reform. It may be the best. I reviewed his book in the Washington Monthly here.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

3 thoughts on “America’s health policy trap”

  1. Very good review Harold. Starr makes the critical point about why it is so hard to reform healthcare: Most people like what they currently have

    1. Seriously wrong, I think. Most people do not like what they currently have. However, most people with power do, and this tiny elite doesn’t give a fart what the rest have or want, and continually emit signals that clearly tell the rest of us that change in a progressive direction is off the table from the start. So we prefer what we have to what we will likely have next, because the parasites that are the insurance industry leaders are the only ones consulted when the plans for what’s next are drawn up. If ever a class of people deserved to have their heads on poles right next to those of the guys who played all those games with all those derivatives it is the insurance industry bosses.

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