Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States (Rockefeller Institute Press)
Insider Richard Kirsch offers a vivid, first-person account of how health care reform came to be.
This first-person account brings readers inside the biggest and most consequential issue campaign in American history. Fighting for Our Health recounts how a reform campaign led by grassroots organizers played a crucial role in President Obama’s signing historic health reform legislation in March of 2010—defeating the tea partiers, Republican Party, health insurance industry, and the US Chamber of Commerce. The action takes place inside the Beltway—the White House, Congressional anterooms, and the streets of DC—and at hundreds of town meetings, demonstrations, and confrontations in places like Danville, Virginia and Lincoln, Nebraska.
The book describes the tense relationship between progressives and the Obama administration, as the President and his team both pushed for reform and made repeated concessions to the health care industry, while trying to squelch any pressure from the left.
Most powerfully, it is the story of the triumph of thousands of people who had seen loved ones die, families go bankrupt, small businesses ruined, and futures destroyed by the health insurance system in the United States.
The book is accessible to undergraduate and graduate students as well as the general reader. Detailed enough to interest people primarily concerned about health care policy and politics, it will also capture readers generally interested in US political dynamics and the health of American democracy.
“Richard Kirsch’s book is the rarest of combinations: an insider look at American politics that instructs as well as entertains. As head of the remarkable advocacy organization Health Care for America Now, Kirsch was on the frontlines of the fight for affordable, quality coverage for all Americans in 2008–10. Now he recalls those searing yet inspiring experiences with wit, wisdom, and a wry sense of humor. The result is a compelling story of the power of citizens’ groups that says much about how health care reform happened—and what its passage and uncertain implementation mean for our democratic future.” — Jacob S. Hacker, Professor of Political Science at Yale University and coauthor of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class
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