This book exposes and examines how Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance plans combined with widespread business practices and fraud create inequity—the root cause of our dysfunctional health care system, and the reason for the rising cost of health care for all Americans.
Health care reform has recently become a hotly contested topic in the United States, but health care in America has been fraught with inequity for over a century. Before the enactment of Medicare, the elderly were barred from hospitals. Today, poor business practices and rampant fraud undermine health care resources, creating shortages, further driving up the cost of adequate care, and causing more inequity.
In Health Care Reform and Disparities: History, Hype, and Hope, prolific author Toni P. Miles, MD, PhD, uniquely expands the usual discussion of health disparities by including and emphasizing the voice and perspective of the consumer, and by featuring policy, media, and financing data. Highlighting the subjective experience humanizes the effects of bureaucratic inequity and inefficiency, while examining the facts and figures spotlights real-world opportunities for moving away from operating on a discrimination basis and refocusing on quality of care.
The first chapter outlines the larger historical context of the health care crisis before subsequent sections describe individual aspects of the health care system—and each one's role in creating or exacerbating disparities. Health care issues specific to demographic groups such as young adults are addressed. This work is an accessible, eye-opening resource for educators, students, and policy makers, as well as anyone wanting to find up-to-date details on the policies and regulations evolving from the Affordable Care Act.
• Exposes the history of segregation in U.S. health care
• Examines the continuing challenge of balancing technological innovation and offering new avenues for fraud
• Discusses the polarizing topic of the role of government in health care infrastructure, access, and public health