Introduction to U.S. Health Policy: The Organization, Financing, and Delivery of Health Care in America

Front Cover
JHU Press, Oct 11, 2011 - Business & Economics - 355 pages

Health care reform has dominated public discourse over the past several years, and the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act, rather than quell the rhetoric, has sparked even more debate. Donald A. Barr reviews the current structure of the American health care system, describing the historical and political contexts in which it developed and the core policy issues that continue to confront us today.

This comprehensive analysis introduces the various organizations and institutions that make the U.S. health care system work—or fail to work, as the case may be. A principal message of the book is the seeming paradox of the quality of health care in this country—on the one hand it is the best medical care system in the world, on the other it is one of the worst among developed countries because of how it is organized.

Barr introduces readers to broad cultural issues surrounding health care policy, such as access, affordability, and quality. He discusses specific elements of U.S. health care, including insurance, especially Medicare and Medicaid, the shift to for-profit managed care, the pharmaceutical industry, issues of long-term care, the plight of the uninsured, medical errors, and nursing shortages. The latest edition of this widely adopted text updates the description and discussion of key sectors of America’s health care system in light of the Affordable Care Act.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


1 The Affordable Care Act and the Politics of Health Care Reform
2 Health Health Care and the Market Economy
3 Health Care as a Reflection of Underlying Cultural Values and Institutions
4 The Health Professions and the Organization of Health Care
5 Health Insurance HMOs and the Managed Care Revolution
6 Medicare
7 Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program
8 The Increasing Role of ForProfit Health Care
11 The Uninsured
12 Factors Other Than Health Insurance That Impede Access to Health Care
13 Key Policy Issues for Deciding the Direction of Health Care Reform
14 EpiloguePrologue to Health Care Reform in America
Summary of the Changes Contained in the Affordable Care Act
OnLine Data Sources

9 Pharmaceutical Policy and the Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs
10 LongTerm Care

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Donald A. Barr, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor at Stanford University in the Department of Pediatrics. He is the author of Questioning the Premedical Paradigm: Enhancing Diversity in the Medical Profession a Century after the Flexner Report and Health Disparities in the United States: Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and Health, both also published by Johns Hopkins.

Bibliographic information