The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage

St. Martin's Press. Feb. 2021. 416p. ISBN 9781250270931. $29.99 ;. pol sci
Cohn (Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis), a Huffpost correspondent, aims to write a comprehensive history about the battle to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Beginning with Ronald Reagan’s campaign against Medicare, the author considers how subsequent presidents and influential politicians have approached health care, from Bill Clinton’s unsuccessful reform efforts to the passage of the ACA during Barack Obama’s first term in office. Cohn considers alarming shifts in American politics that have influenced health care policy, and offers an authoritative account of health care law that helps readers understand how these laws impact their daily lives. Further primary and secondhand sources inform Cohn’s argument that health care law is more about politics than policy. The strength of the book lies in Cohn’s comprehensive and detailed analysis, allowing readers to learn how policy making has evolved over time, and how the Republican establishment fought, and continues to fight, to overturn the legislation.
VERDICT An extensive and definitive account of competing visions of American health care that will be of particular interest to readers curious about the process of creating policy and those interested in reform. Cohn’s accessible writing makes for an absorbing, fast-paced narrative
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