In this podcast, DrK reviews the groundbreaking book by healthcare attorney Daniel E. Dawes and provides additional context on the difficult path toward equitable healthcare in the United States.
She explains more about the Affordable Care Act as well as exploring the secret backstory of the ACA that this book provides. The title of the book—150 Years of ObamaCare—may seem idiosyncratic, since the ACA was passed into law during the first term of President Obama in 2010. But the book sheds light on the creation and implementation of the greatest and most sweeping equalizer in the history of American healthcare to date. DrK explains the historical struggle to obtain equitable healthcare in the United States, one that is far from won.
The book provides an eye-opening and authoritative narrative written from an insider’s perspective. It debunks contemporary understandings of healthcare reform, going back to the Civil War. DrK also cautions that the struggle for equitable healthcare continues, with rollbacks evident in GOP policy and efforts by lobbyists. The Dobbs ruling by the Supreme Court impacting womens’ reproductive health is one example; others are the continuing efforts by Republicans to undermine Obamacare.
The book provides a comprehensive and unprecedented review of the health equity movement and the little-known leadership efforts that were crucial to passing public policies and laws reforming mental health, minority health, and universal health.
An instrumental player in a large coalition of organizations that helped shape Obamacare, Dawes tells the story of the Affordable Care Act with urgency and intimate detail. He reveals what went on behind the scenes by including copies of letters and e-mails written by the people and groups who worked to craft and pass the law. He explains the law through a health equity lens, focusing on what it is meant to do and how it affects various groups. Ultimately, he argues that Obamacare is much more comprehensive in the context of previous reform efforts than is typically understood.
In an increasingly polarized political environment, healthcare reform has been caught in the crossfire of the partisan struggle, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Dawes has another book, The Political Determinants of Health, that looks more closely at the ways in which policy and politics influence the social conditions that generate health outcomes.
In the wake of the COVID pandemic that massively impacted healthcare, DrK discusses Black skepticism about the healthcare sector due to atrocities dating back to the 1800s and the subsequent Tuskegee experiments. She looks at the intersection of the Civil Rights Act, politics, and how that has impacted healthcare and public health. COVID has shown that even with Obamacare available, many are still unable to obtain health insurance and others are still facing crippling bills.
Listen to the podcast below. The book can be purchased from Amazon.