Remedy and Reaction: Book summary and reviews of Remedy and Reaction by Paul Starr

Remedy and Reaction

The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform

by Paul Starr

Remedy and Reaction by Paul Starr X
Remedy and Reaction by Paul Starr
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Book Summary

In no other country has health care served as such a volatile flashpoint of ideological conflict. America has endured a century of rancorous debate on health insurance, and despite the passage of legislation in 2010, the battle is not yet over. This book is a history of how and why the United States became so stubbornly different in health care, presented by an expert with unsurpassed knowledge of the issues.

Tracing health-care reform from its beginnings to its current uncertain prospects, Paul Starr argues that the United States ensnared itself in a trap through policies that satisfied enough of the public and so enriched the health-care industry as to make the system difficult to change.

He reveals the inside story of the rise and fall of the Clinton health plan in the early 1990s - and of the Gingrich counterrevolution that followed. And he explains the curious tale of how Mitt Romney's reforms in Massachusetts became a model for Democrats and then follows both the passage of those reforms under Obama and the explosive reaction they elicited from conservatives. Writing concisely and with an even hand, the author offers exactly what is needed as the debate continues - a penetrating account of how health care became such treacherous terrain in American politics.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Remarkable... an exacting look at politics and policies - and a challenge to Americans to overcome their fear and distrust in order to protect the sick and vulnerable." - Publishers Weekly

"A useful contribution as the country moves forward with the implementation of health-care reform." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. [T]his self-admitted universal-health-care advocate and seasoned realist leaves readers questioning, as he does, whether Americans can 'summon the elementary decency toward the sick that characterizes other democracies.'" - Booklist

"Paul Starr has written a fascinating chronicle of America's century-long journey to health reform that is, at once, erudite history, vivid journalism, and authoritative guide to a debate that will continue for decades." - Henry J. Aaron, co-author of Using Taxes to Reform Health Care

"Three decades ago Paul Starr wrote the definitive history of American medicine. Remedy and Reaction now offers the definitive analysis of American health care reform - its history, nature, and continuing vulnerability." - Timothy Jost, co-editor, Transforming American Medicine: A Twenty Year Retrospective

This information about Remedy and Reaction shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is professor of sociology and public affairs, Princeton University, and co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect. His 1984 book The Social Transformation of American Medicine won the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction and the Bancroft Prize in American history. A senior adviser on health policy in the Clinton White House, he writes frequently on national politics. For more information, visit his website at www.princeton.edu/~starr/.

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