Health at Risk

America's Ailing Health System—and How to Heal It

Edited by Jacob S. Hacker

Columbia University Press

Health at Risk

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Pub Date: November 2008

ISBN: 9780231146036

152 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00£21.00

Pub Date: November 2008

ISBN: 9780231146029

152 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£63.00

Pub Date: November 2008

ISBN: 9780231518611

152 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $24.99£21.00

Health at Risk

America's Ailing Health System—and How to Heal It

Edited by Jacob S. Hacker

Columbia University Press

In this volume, the nation's leading advisors on health policy and financing appraise America's ailing healthcare system and suggest reasonable approaches to its rehabilitation. Each chapter confronts a major challenge to the country's health security, from runaway costs and uneven quality of care to declining levels of insurance coverage, medical bankruptcy, and the growing enthusiasm for health plans that put patients in charge of risk and cost. Bringing the latest research to bear on these issues, contributors diagnose the problems of our present system and offer treatments grounded in extensive experience. Free of bias and rhetoric, Health at Risk is an invaluable tool for those who are concerned with the current state of healthcare and are eager to effect change.

Illness is always a risk, but for a growing number of Americans, poor health can also mean bankruptcy or being forced to choose between enormous healthcare costs and other needs. Unemployment, too, is always a risk, but for many Americans losing one's job can lead to a loss of health insurance or being denied coverage at a new job. Health at Risk clarifies this issue clear in five briskly written chapters. It demands attention from policymakers, social scientists, and everyone concerned with the public good.

Craig Calhoun, president, Social Science Research Council

At a critical time in our national debate on health care reform, Jacob Hacker and his colleagues have given us an invaluable guide to the future. We can no longer accept a do-nothing approach, when millions of our fellow citizens lack health insurance coverage, millions more are increasingly at risk of losing their coverage, and even those with insurance are facing larger and larger out-of-pocket costs for health care. As these essays show, we can rise above our nation's legacy of failure on health reform and get the job done.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy

At a time when health care reform sits atop the political agenda, this collection of essays ought to be required reading-both for policymakers and for anybody who hopes to influence them. These are some of the sharpest minds in the world of public policy, bringing unique expertise to bear on one of our nation's most pressing social problems. They offer fresh insights while marshaling overwhelming evidence, producing a stirring and compelling call for change.

Jonathan Cohn, senior editor of the New Republic and author of Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis-and the People Who Pay the Price

A great resource for understanding the development, problems, and possible solutions to health care in the US.

Choice
Introduction, Jacob S. Hacker
1. The Transformation of American Health Insurance, by Jill Quadagno and J. Brandon McKelvey
2. Uninsured in America: New Realities, New Risks, by Katherine Swartz
3. Get Sick, Go Broke, by Deborah Thorne and Elizabeth Warren
4. Just How Good Is American Medical Care?, by Elizabeth A. McGlynn, David Meltzer, and Jacob S. Hacker
5. The New Push for American Health Security, by Jacob S. Hacker
List of Contributors

About the Author

Jacob Hacker is professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley, where he heads the Center on Health and Economic Security at the Boalt Law School. A frequent media commentator and author of numerous scholarly and popular articles, he is the author of four books, most recently The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream. Contributors: Jacob Hacker: "Health Insecurity and the Middle Class"; Elizabeth McGlynn and David Meltzer: "Health Quality"; Brandon McKelvey and Jill Quadagno: "The Transformation of American Health Insurance"; Katherine Swartz: "The Uninsured and Underinsured"; Elizabeth Warren: "Medical Bankruptcy"