Toward a Healthy Society: The Morality and Politics of American Health Care Reform

Overview

Few issues concern the American public today more than health care. Just ask anyone who has sat for hours in an HMO waiting room or made countless phone calls trying to have a claim settled--or anyone who can't get coverage. But whenever basic reform is proposed the insurance industry opens a massive campaign against it.

Health care today is part of big business, which in defeating the Clinton plan successfully pushed any kind of basic reform off the political agenda. Continuing...

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Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A. 2000 Hardcover New in New jacket Book First Edition, 1st Printing. New, unread in unpriced dust jacket.

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Overview

Few issues concern the American public today more than health care. Just ask anyone who has sat for hours in an HMO waiting room or made countless phone calls trying to have a claim settled--or anyone who can't get coverage. But whenever basic reform is proposed the insurance industry opens a massive campaign against it.

Health care today is part of big business, which in defeating the Clinton plan successfully pushed any kind of basic reform off the political agenda. Continuing citizen support for some form of public insurance is, says Milton Fisk, a sign that basic reform is still possible. In his new book, he argues persuasively that basic reform goes beyond a matter of life and death--it's integral to maintaining a society where concern for others holds its own against the market.

Health care, observes Fisk, is not simply an individual responsibility but a public good much like education, and commitment to the social values underlying these public goods is essential to any just society. A healthy society as a value worth pursuing becomes an empty slogan when the poor get inferior health care, when workplaces are dangerous to health, and when a focus on medical treatment leaves out our bodies' environment.

Taking in the broad sweep of social policy in the last half-century, Fisk describes the shift from welfare toward competitiveness as a key factor in the rise of corporate care in the United States. He analyzes the failure of the Clinton health care plan in detail and shows that its commitment to corporate health care was at odds with its reforming intent. He then argues that without national health insurance, needless obstacles will stand in the way of a healthy society. Ideally, the public fund behind this insurance would be derived from a progressive income tax.

Skillfully blending philosophy, economics, and public policy, Fisk's book breaks new ground in political morality and raises important questions about the way people's needs for health care are being defined to satisfy corporate priorities. At a time when so many Americans can barely afford to get sick, no one concerned with this issue can afford to ignore this work of realism and vision.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Taking in the broad sweep of social policy in the last half-century, Fisk (philosophy, Indiana University) describes the shift from welfare toward competitiveness as a key factor in the rise of corporate care in the United States. He analyzes the failure of the Clinton health care plan and argues that its commitment to corporate health care was at odds with its reforming intent. He then proposes a national health insurance program funded by a progressive income tax. Blending philosophy, economics, and public policy analysis, Fisk also discusses the role of health care as a public good, and considers the relationship between health and environmental factors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700610143
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: Political Morality and Public Goods

Part I. Locating Obstacles to Health Care Reform

1. The Decline of Compassion and Sooidarity

2. The Struggle to Define Patients' Needs

3. How Corporate Medicine Limits Reform

Part II. Redirecting Health Care Ethics

4. Collective Provision, Markets, and the Public Good

5. Just Health Care and the Common Good

6. Democracy Versus Corporatist Decision Making

Part III. Making the Transition to Reform

7. Finance and the Origins of Corporate Health Care

8. Toward a Radical Politics of Reform

9. The Struggle for a Healthy Society: Business and Medicare Against the Public Good

10. Market Failures and Social Values in Health Care

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