Interest Groups and Health Care Reform across the United States assesses the impact of interest groups to determine if collectively they are capable of shaping policy in their own interests or whether they influence policy only at the margins. What can this tell us about the true power of interest groups in this policy arena? The fact that state governments took action in health policy in spite of opposing interests, where the national government could not, offers a compelling puzzle that will be of special interest to scholars and students of public policy, health policy, and state politics.
Virginia Gray is Robert Watson Winston Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
David Lowery is Bruce R. Miller and Dean D. LaVigne Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University
Jennifer K. Benz serves as a senior research scientist for NORC at the University of Chicago.
Health care reform is perhaps the most divisive public policy issue facing the United States today. Michael Doonan provides a unique perspective on health policy in explaining how intergovernmental relations shape public policy. He tracks federal-state relations through the creation, formulation, and implementation of three of the most important health policy initiatives since the Great Society: the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), both passed by the U.S. Congress, and the Massachusetts health care reform program as it was developed and implemented under federal government waiver authority. He applies lessons learned from these cases to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
"Health policymaking is entangled in a complex web of shared, overlapping, and/or competing power relationships among different levels of government," the author notes. Understanding federal-state interactions, the ways in which they vary, and the reasons for such variation is essential to grasping the ultimate impact of federalism on programs and policy. Doonan reveals how federalism can shift as the sausage of public policy is made while providing a new framework for comprehending one of the most polarizing debates of our time.
The third edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect how public opinion is studied today, and to incorporate current data and debates. The book now contains two revised and reframed theory chapters 'Group Membership and Public Opinion' and 'Public Opinion and Social Process', as well as new coverage of the influence of online and social media on public opinion, especially in issue opinions and campaigns.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.