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Donald A. Barr

Aug 30, 2021

Crossing the American Health Care Chasm

Finding the Path to Bipartisan Collaboration in National Health Care Policy

Johns Hopkins University Press 2021

Why is there such a deep partisan division within the United States regarding how health care should be organized and financed and how can we encourage politicians to band together again for the good of everyone? For decades, Democratic and Republican political leaders have disagreed about the fundamental goals of American health policy. The modern-day consequences of this disagreement, particularly in the Republicans' campaign to erode the coverage and equity gains of the Affordable Care Act, can be seen in the tragic and disparate impact of COVID-19 on the country. In Crossing the American Health Care Chasm: Finding the Path to Bipartisan Collaboration in National Health Care Policy (Johns Hopkins UP, 2021), Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD, details the breakdown in political relations in the United States. Why, he asks, has health policy, which used to be a place where the two sides could find common ground, become the nexus of fiery political conflict? Ultimately, Barr argues, this divide is more dangerous than ever at a time when health care costs continue to skyrocket, the number of uninsured Americans is rising, many state governments are chipping away at Medicaid, and the GOP has not let up in its efforts to dismantle the ACA. 

Stephen Pimpare is director of the Public Service & Nonprofit Leadership program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

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Stephen Pimpare

Stephen Pimpare is director of the Public Service & Nonprofit Leadership program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

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