Includes bibliographical references (pages 271-291) and index.
Prologue: Rights and rationing before 1930
A crisis of access
Social security without health security
Health care at war
Rights to refuse : the triumph of the hospital
Rationing by coverage : the rise of private health insurance
Entitlements but not rights : Medicare and Medicaid
The rise of health care activism
Emergency rooms and epidemics
At the breaking point
Epilogue: Rights, rationing, and reform.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act is a sweeping reform to the US health care system. Hoffman offers an engaging and in-depth look at America's long tradition of unequal access to health care. She argues that two main features have characterized the US health system: a refusal to adopt a right to care and a particularly American type of rationing. Unlike rationing in most countries, which is intended to keep costs down, rationing in the United States has actually led to increased costs, resulting in the most expensive health care system in the world.