The Social Medicine Reader, Second Edition

Volume 3: Health Policy, Markets, and Medicine

The Social Medicine Reader, Second Edition

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: Published: August 2005

Medicine and Health > Medical Humanitites, Sociology

Duke University Press is pleased to announce the second edition of the bestselling Social Medicine Reader. The Reader provides a survey of the challenging issues facing today’s health care providers, patients, and caregivers by bringing together moving narratives of illness, commentaries by physicians, debates about complex medical cases, and conceptually and empirically based writings by scholars in medicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. The first edition of The Social Medicine Reader was a single volume. This significantly revised and expanded second edition is divided into three volumes to facilitate use by different audiences with varying interests.

Praise for the 3-volume second edition of The Social Medicine Reader:
“A superb collection of essays that illuminate the role of medicine in modern society. Students and general readers are not likely to find anything better.”—Arnold S. Relman, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Praise for the first edition:
“This reviewer strongly recommends The Social Medicine Reader to the attention of medical educators.”—Samuel W. Bloom, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

Volume 3:

Over the past four decades the American health care system has witnessed dramatic changes in private health insurance, campaigns to enact national health insurance, and the rise (and perhaps fall) of managed care. Bringing together seventeen pieces new to this second edition of The Social Medicine Reader and four pieces from the first edition, Health Policy, Markets, and Medicine draws on a broad range of disciplinary perspectives—including political science, economics, history, and bioethics—to consider changes in health care and the future of U.S. health policy. Contributors analyze the historical and moral foundation of today’s policy debates, examine why health care spending is so hard to control in the United States, and explain the political dynamics of Medicare and Medicaid. Selections address the rise of managed care, its impact on patients and physicians, and the ethical implications of applying a business ethos to medical care; they also compare the U.S. health care system to the systems in European countries, Canada, and Japan. Additional readings probe contemporary policy issues, including the emergence of consumer-driven health care, efforts to move quality of care to the top of the policy agenda, and the implications of the aging of America for public policy.

Contributors: Henry J. Aaron, Drew E. Altman, George J. Annas, Robert H. Binstock, Thomas Bodenheimer, Troyen A. Brennan, Robert H. Brook, Lawrence D. Brown, Daniel Callahan, Jafna L. Cox, Victor R. Fuchs, Kevin Grumbach, Rudolf Klein, Robert Kuttner, Larry Levitt, Donald L. Madison, Wendy K. Mariner, Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Jonathan Oberlander, Geov Parrish, Sharon Redmayne, Uwe E. Reinhardt, Michael S. Sparer, Deborah Stone


“It is great to know that future doctors are reading this book. It ought to be required of all medical students.” — Sanford F. Schram, Perspectives on Politics

“The academic discipline of social medicine has struggled to find a precise definition for over a century. This struggle is exemplified by the classic social medicine course book, The Social Medicine Reader, edited by faculty from the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which offers an expansive view of social medicine's concerns.” — Dorothy Porter, PLoS Med

“This book has a number of strengths, in my opinion. First, and perhaps most important, the quality of the papers is uniformly excellent as might be expected given the book’s distinguished contributors. In addition to being of high quality, the papers could not be more relevant to current issues, problems, and debates concerning the financing and delivery of medical care in the United States.” — William P. Gronfein, Teaching Sociology

"[E]xcellent. . . . The Social Medicine Reader fulfills its purposes admirably. The selected readings will stimulate critical analysis of the experiences of modern medicine from both professional and patient perspectives." — Samuel W. Bloom, JAMA

"This is a very exciting work—well-written, vivid, thoughtful, and stimulating. It is simply a must read for all health care professionals, from novices to experts. Essential." — D.B. Hamilton, CHOICE,

“These essays explore medicine and society, health and politics, care and economics. Along the way, they raise urgent questions about the human condition itself. Bracing, thoughtful, elegant, witty, iconoclastic—The Social Medicine Reader is a terrific book, perhaps the best collection of teaching essays on the market.” — James A. Morone, author of Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jonathan Oberlander is an associate professor of social medicine and an adjunct associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Larry R. Churchill is Professor of and Chair of the Department of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Self-Interest and Universal Health Care: Why Well-Insured Americans Should Support Coverage for Everyone and Rationing Health Care in America: Perceptions and Principles of Justice.

Sue E. Estroff is Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Making It Crazy: An Ethnography of Psychiatric Clients in an American Community.

Gail E. Henderson, Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of The Chinese Hospital: A Socialist Work Unit.

Nancy M. P. King, Associate Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of Making Sense of Advance Directives.

Ronald P. Strauss is Professor of Dental Ecology and Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is author of numerous articles on social and ethical issues in the care of chronic illness.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface to the Second Edition vii

Introduction 1

Part I: The Uninsured, Health Care Costs, and Public Programs

The U.S. Health Care System: On a Road to Nowhere? / Jonathan Oberlander 5

Wanted: A Clearly Articulated Social Ethic for American Health Care / Uwe E. Reinhardt 25

From Bismarck to Medicare - A Brief History of Medical Care Payment In America / Donald L. Madison 31

The Sad History of Health Care Cost Containment as Told in One Chart / Drew E. Altman and Larry Levitt 67

The Unsurprising Surprise of Renewed Health Care Cost Inflation / Henry J. Aaron 70

The Not-So-Sad History of Medicare Cost: Containment as Told In One Chart / Thomas Bodenheimer 73

Medicaid and Medicare: The Unanticipated Politics of Public Insurance Programs / Lawrence d. Brown and Michael S. Sparer 76

Part II: Managed Care, Markets, and Rationing

Bedside Manna / Deborah Stone 95

Must Good HMOs Go Bad? The Commercialization of Prepaid Group Health Care / Robert Kuttner 107

Defending My Life / Geov Parrish 119

Business vs. Medical Ethics: Conflicting Standards for Managed Care / Wendy K. Mariner 128

The Prostitute, the Playboy, and the Poet: Rationing Schemes for Organ Transplantation / George J. Annas 150

Ethics of Queuing for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in Canada / Jafna L. Cox 158

Rationing in Practice: The Case of In Vitro Fertilization / Sharon Redmayne and Rudolf Klein 167

Part III: International Perspectives and Emerging Issues

Reforming the Health Care System: The Universal Dilemma / Uwe E. Reinhardt 179

Health Care in Four Nations / Thomas Bodenheimer and Kevin Grumbach 199

Keeping Quality on the Policy Agenda / Elizabeth A. McGlynn and Robert H. Brook 230

What's Ahead for Health Insurance in the United States? / Victor R. Fuchs 240

Luxury Primary Care - Market Innovation or Threat to Access? / Troyen A. Brennan 246

Correspondence: Response to "Luxury Primary Care" 255

Limiting Health Care for the Old / Daniel Callahan 260

Scapegoating the Aged: Intergenerational Equaity and Age-Based Rationing / Robert H. Binstock 267

Index to Authors 285

About the Editors 287
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3569-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3556-6
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