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Mother of InventionHow the Government Created "Free-Market" Health Care$
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Robert I. Field

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746750

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746750.001.0001

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Health Reform, Government Initiative, and the Future of American Health Care

Health Reform, Government Initiative, and the Future of American Health Care

Chapter:
(p.209) 8 Health Reform, Government Initiative, and the Future of American Health Care
Source:
Mother of Invention
Author(s):

Robert I. Field

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746750.003.0008

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) culminated a century of efforts to achieve universal health coverage. They increasingly focused on market approaches, and the ACA followed this trend by relying on private insurance companies to expand coverage. It facilitates a market for individual policies and expands Medicaid, which is widely administered by private plans. Obama garnered political supportfor the law through alliances with key industry sectors that stood to gain, including insurers, hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical firms. The ACA thereby extends to new lengths the public-private partnership underlying all American health care. Future reforms should address the partnership’s most glaring failings. These would transition reimbursement from fee-for-service to bundled payments, reduce administrative complexity, limit medicine’s specialist tilt, lessen the profession’s commercialization, and control the proliferation of expensive technology. Government activism created American health care, and it will always be the essential force in keeping it sustainable andvibrant.

Keywords:   Health reform, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Health insurance, Universal coverage, Bundled payments, Administrative complexity, Medicaid, Free-market health care, Health care reimbursement

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