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    Virginia Gray Co-Authors New Book on Health Care Reform

    Virginia Gray BookVirginia Gray, the Robert Watson Winston Distinguished Professor of Political Science at UNC, David Lowery, and Jennifer K. Benz have published a new book, Interest Groups and Health Care Reform across the United States(Georgetown University Press, 2013).

    Universal health care was on the national political agenda for nearly a hundred years until a comprehensive (but not universal) health care reform bill supported by President Obama passed in 2010. The most common explanation for the failure of past reform efforts is that special interests were continually able to block reform by lobbying lawmakers. Yet, beginning in the 1970s, accelerating with the failure of the Clinton health care plan, and continuing through the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, health policy reform was alive and well at the state level.

    Interest Groups and Health Care Reform across the United States assesses the impact of interest groups to determine if collectively they are capable of shaping policy in their own interests or whether they influence policy only at the margins.  The fact that state governments took action in health policy in spite of opposing interests, where the national government could not, offers a compelling puzzle that will be of special interest to scholars and students of public policy, health policy, and state politics.

    "The foremost scholars of interest groups take on the major domestic issue of our time—health care reform,” writes Christopher Mooney of the University of Illinois, Springfield.  "The most comprehensive starting point for analyzing state health reform and understanding its future directions,” adds Lawrence Jacobs of the University of Minnesota.  “Interest Groups and Health Care Reform across the United States will inform and stimulate a new generation of research on the politics of state health reform and the role of interest groups. A must read for students of health reform, state policy innovation, and American politics.”

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