"At times, Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care reads more like a novel
than a policy book as it tells the fascinating story of how the forces that frustrated past efforts to provide universal insurance coverage were overcome to pass the Obama health reform." --Robert D. Reischauer
, president, Urban Institute, former director, Congressional Budget Office
"There is not an American who has been more active and relevant in the health reform debate for the last forty years than Stuart Altman. With his talented partner, David Shactman, he has produced a well-written, insightful personal recollection of the evolution of health reform. It is an invaluable contribution to understanding how all major reforms are built on the triumphs and failures of past attempts and cannot be achieved without the application of lessons learned, leadership, good timing, and luck." --Chris Jennings, former Senior Health Reform Adviser to President William Jefferson Clinton
"A riveting journey through the history of US health care reform. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand America's elusive search for universal coverage and affordable care. Altman and Shactman do the impossible&mdash:making sense of our complex health system in an accessible and compelling way." -- Jonathan Oberlander, PhD, professor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; author, Political Life of Medicare
"Stuart Altman and David Shactman's new book does a superb job of capturing the essence of the meandering odyssey of health care policy as it reaches insurance coverage for all America. They describe the pivotal events and characters of the development of universal health care with the intimacy of good storytelling. The authors make you feel you are there." --Charles N. Kahn III, president and CEO, Federation of American Hospitals, former staff director of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, 1995-1998
"It took nearly a century to pass universal health coverage, and I know we won't figure out all the solutions to long-term cost containment overnight. But as we move forward, it's critically important to understand where we've been—and there's no better expert to navigate the history of health policy than Stuart Altman. The Altman/Shactman book is an important chronicle of America's history with health reform. It contains lessons we should all keep in mind as we continue our ongoing journey to build a stronger, fairer, and more efficient health care system for all of our citizens." --Senator John Kerry, from the foreword
"...Engagingly written...Readers can learn much from these syntheses of historical scholarship as well as the helpful sketches of policy details that the book provides at the close of some important chapters." --Health Affairs journal
About the Author
(Waltham, MA), the Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, is an internationally recognized expert in health policy. He served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Nixon administration and was one of the architects of Nixon's plan for universal health care. He was chair of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (ProPAC) for twelve years under President Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. ProPac was responsible for overseeing the way Medicare paid hospitals and other health institutions. He also served on President Clinton's transition team and was appointed to the president's Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Recently, he was a member of the health policy team for Barack Obama during his presidential campaign.
David Shactman (Newton, MA) is a freelance writer who was a Senior Fellow in Health Policy at the Heller School and worked with Stuart Altman for eleven years. During that time, he was coeditor of two books—Policies for an Aging Society (with Stuart Altman) and Regulating Managed Care (with Stuart Altman and Uwe E. Reinhardt). He has also written numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals and trade magazines.