The Political Life of Medicare

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University of Chicago Press, 2003 - 262 pages
In recent years, bitter partisan disputes have erupted over Medicare reform. Democrats and Republicans have fiercely contested issues such as prescription drug coverage and how to finance Medicare to absorb the baby boomers. As Jonathan Oberlander demonstrates in The Political Life of Medicare, these developments herald the reopening of a historic debate over Medicare's fundamental purpose and structure. Revealing how Medicare politics and policies have developed since Medicare's enactment in 1965 and what the program's future holds, Oberlander's timely and accessible analysis will interest anyone concerned with American politics and public policy, health care politics, aging, and the welfare state.

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
The elusive search for national health insurance
17
The politics of benefits
36
The politics of financing
74
The politics of regulation
107
Patterns and explanations
136
7 The New Politics of Medicare
157
Notes
197
Bibliography
245
Index
259
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About the author (2003)

Jonathan Oberlander is an assistant professor of social medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he teaches health policy in the School of Medicine and the Department of Political Science.

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