Poor Families in America's Health Care Crisis

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Cambridge University Press, May 29, 2006 - Social Science - 272 pages
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Poor Families in America's Health Care Crisis examines the implications of the fragmented and two-tiered health insurance system in the United States for the health care access of low-income families. For a large fraction of Americans their jobs do not provide health insurance or other benefits and although government programs are available for children, adults without private health care coverage have few options. Detailed ethnographic and survey data from selected low-income neighborhoods in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio document the lapses in medical coverage that poor families experience and reveal the extent of untreated medical conditions, delayed treatment, medical indebtedness, and irregular health care that women and children suffer as a result. Extensive poverty, the increasing proportion of minority households, and the growing dependence on insecure service sector work all influence access to health care for families at the economic margin.

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About the author (2006)

Ronald J. Angel, Ph.D. is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. With his wife, Jacqueline Angel, he is author of Painful Inheritance: Health and the New Generation of Fatherless Families and Who Will Care for Us? Aging and Long-term Care in Multicultural America. Professor Angel served as Editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior from 1994 to 1997, and he has served on the editorial boards of numerous other journals. He has administered several large grants from NIA, NIMH, NICHD, and several private foundations.

Laura Lein, Ph.D. is Professor in the School of Social Work and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University in 1973. She is the author, with Kathryn Edin, of Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work. She has published numerous articles, most recently in Community, Work and Family, Violence Against Women, and Journal of Adolescent Research.

Jane Henrici, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Memphis, earned her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. Henrici has published articles and chapters on development programs and their interaction with ethnicity and gender in Perú, and on social programs and their effects on poorer women in the U.S. With respect to the latter, she edited as well as contributed to a volume contracted by the University of Arizona Press tentatively titled Going it Alone: U.S. Women in the Age of Welfare Reform. She is also the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship.

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