Books and Articles

National Health Reform
This indispensable guide to the Affordable Care Act, our new national health care law, lends an insider’s deep understanding of policy to a lively and absorbing account of the extraordinary—and extraordinarily ambitious—legislative effort to reform the nation’s health care system. Dr. John E. McDonough, DPH, a health policy expert who served as an advisor to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, provides a vivid picture of the intense effort required to bring this legislation into law. McDonough clearly explains the ACA’s inner workings, revealing the rich landscape of the issues, policies, and controversies embedded in the law yet unknown to most Americans. In his account of these historic events, McDonough takes us through the process from the 2008 presidential campaign to the moment in 2010 when President Obama signed the bill into law. At a time when the nation is taking a second look at the ACA, Inside National Health Reform provides the essential information for Americans to make informed judgments about this landmark law.

Experiencing PoliticsJohn E. McDonough affords a rare glimpse into the practice of state politics in this insider’s account of the fascinating interface between political science and real-life politics. A member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for thirteen years and a skilled storyteller, McDonough eloquently weaves together stories of politics and policy with engaging theoretical models in a way that illuminates both the theory and the practice. By providing a link between scholarship and the world of experience, he communicates much about the essence of representative democracy. In the process, he demonstrates how politics extend beyond the public sphere into many aspects of life involving diverse values and interests.

McDonough describes the nature of conflict, the role of interests, agenda setting, the nature and pace of change, the use of language, and more. Accessible, insightful, and original, his stories touch on a broad range of issues—including health care politics, campaigns, and elections; a street gang called the X-men; the death penalty; campaign finance reform, and tenants versus landlords. To the author, politics is everywhere and political dynamics are universal. While the setting for this book is one legislature, the lessons and insights are intended for everyone.

Recent Article Links
Five Reasons to Dismiss the King Case US News & World Report.  March 3, 2015
The United States Health System in TransitionHealth Systems and Reform. 1(1):39-51, 2015.
In Defense of the Employer Mandate (with Eli Adashi).  Journal of the American Medical Association. 2015;313(7):665-666. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.17658
The Affordable Care Act Is Working Commonwealth. January 21, 2015

Integrating Oral and General Health Care (With Bruce Donoff and Christine Reidy)  New England Journal of Medicine.  371:2247-2249  December 11, 2014

Wyden’s Waiver: State Innovation on Steroids Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law. June 2014, 39(3)
Health System Reform in the United States International Journal of Health Policy and Management. 2014, 2(1),5-8
Budget Sequestration and the U.S. Health Sector New England Journal of Medicine. NEJM:2013; 368: 1269-1271. April 4, 2013.

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