Every industrial nation in the world guarantees its citizens access to essential health care servicesevery country, that is, except the United States. In fact, one in eight Americansa shocking 43 million peopledo not have any health care insurance at all.
One Nation, Uninsured offers a vividly written history of America's failed efforts to address the health care needs of its citizens. Covering the entire twentieth century, Jill Quadagno shows how each attempt to enact national health insurance was met with fierce attacks by powerful stakeholders, who mobilized their considerable resources to keep the financing of health care out of the government's hands. Quadagno describes how at first physicians led the anti-reform coalition, fearful that government entry would mean government control of the lucrative private health care market. Doctors lobbied legislators, influenced elections by giving large campaign contributions to sympathetic candidates, and organized "grassroots" protests, conspiring with other like-minded groups to defeat reform efforts. As the success of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-century led physicians and the AMA to start scaling back their attacks, the insurance industry began assuming a leading role against reform that continues to this day.
One Nation, Uninsured offers a sweeping history of the battles over health care. It is an invaluable read for anyone who has a stake in the future of America's health care system.