"Questions about the accessibility, value, and safety of expensive medical technologies loom large in the national conversation about the future of health reform in the United States. What medical technologies can we afford, how should we assess their clinical effectiveness, and who should possess the authority to make these important decisions? In their thoughtful and engaging book Debating Modern Medical Technologies, Karen J. Maschke and Michael K. Gusmano demonstrate that debates about the evidentiary standards for market entry and patient access to medical technologies are shaped not only by conflicts over science and data but also by disputes among interest groups, political ideologies, and partisan differences on the role of government. Their analysis artfully weaves together insights from political science, public policy, and science and technology studies in telling us how medical evidence disputes play out in a variety of regulatory and payer settings. The book is timely, compelling, and beautifully written. A must-read for students of health policy."
"Although medical technology is fundamental to the quality of care and its cost, it is too often studied in silos that separate its scientific and political dimensions. This excellent book by Maschke and Gusmano brings these dimensions together, much to the enlightenment of scholars of science, politics, and policy, by means of superbly researched case studies through which pass a rich array of technologies, evaluators, interest groups, advocates, bureaucrats, and political leaders. The book is a gold mine for all serious students—and practitioners—of health care policy."
"Debating Modern Medical Technologies illustrates how political science scholarship can truly contribute to the 'public good.' In lucid, accessible prose, Karen J. Maschke and Michael K. Gusmano analyze the decision-making process in five different cases of the adoption of and payment for medical technology in the United States—decisions that directly affect both the cost and quality of health care. They clearly explain the complicated debates about the risks and benefits of these technologies/medications, including the value of different types of scientific 'evidence,' and draw on insights about policy framing, political ideology, and the interests and activities of professional, industry, and consumer groups to examine the reasons for the decisions of government agencies and private insurers. This book should be required reading for every journalist writing about health policy, every student studying it, and every congressional and executive branch staffer/public official involved in making it."
"Debating Modern Medical Technologies is a timely and important book. As medical expertise and populism collide in the 'right to try movement' and unprecedented deregulation upends historic norms, stakeholders need an unbiased account of how decisions about medical technology are actually made. Drawing upon their deep knowledge of health policy, Maschke and Gusmano brilliantly explain the mix of scientific, economic, and political forces that make medical progress possible and accessible. Their collaboration has resulted in serious scholarship in the public interest."