With the recent election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, there is a very real chance that the Affordable Care Act will be gutted or repealed. Because of that, it is perhaps ironic that Daniel Dawes’ book is entitled, 150 Years of ObamaCare. The book provides an indispensable insider’s point of view on the political challenges and compromises that went into President Obama’s signature health care law, and the unsung figures who helped make it possible. With Obamacare now in jeopardy, Dawes’ historical account becomes all the more important.
“So I wrote 150 Years of ObamaCare so that current and future generations of health equity advocates, students and scholars, can learn from our efforts, build upon our successes, what challenges we faced internally and externally, and how we overcame them during the incredible efforts to develop and pass comprehensive health reform in our country.”
This is no small ambition. The newly-empowered Republican majority in Congress (to say nothing of the new Republican president) has declared its intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare’s controversial features (such as the individual mandate) and daunting complexity create an opening for lucid accounts that cut through the torrent of analysis, commentary, and heated speculation about the law’s effects. According to U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, in one of the many positive blurbs on the book website, Dawes’ work is “A timely, definitive and illuminating book on the Affordable Care Act. I urge anyone who cares about effecting positive changes in our health system to read 150 Years of ObamaCare.”
The Dawes interview is followed by a short segment, courtesy of our friends at the Austin-based Mental Health Channel, that poignantly illustrates the human toll of navigating the health care system with a mental health diagnosis.