Christy Chapin, an assistant professor of history, recently published a new book which traces how private and public interests merged to place insurance companies at the center of the U.S. healthcare system. The book, Ensuring America’s Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System, was published earlier this year by Cambridge University Press.
“Christy Chapin’s Ensuring America’s Health changes the scholarly conversation about the history of our health care system. It explains how both public and private forces created Medicare in 1965 and how the ‘insurance company model’ of health care finance has prevailed ever since. This book is the best treatment we have of the historical dimensions of our current health care crisis and will prove to be an indispensable resource for historians and policy makers,” stated Edward Berkowitz of George Washington University in a review.
Chapin’s research interests include political, business, economic history, and capitalism studies and she is a scholar of twentieth-century political history. She recently wrote a blog post in Public Seminar which discusses the history of health care financing and said of her new book: “It’s a story about insurance company power and how, among other problems, this corporate dominance has fueled high health care costs.”
In another column posted on the History News Network website, Chapin noted that it’s important to look back to the early twentieth century to understand rising health care costs and insurance company mergers, writing “AMA leaders spent decades attacking health care financing experiments that they believed would evolve into corporations. They worried that doctors would be pulled into large bureaucratic organizations under the supervision of non-physicians. Consequently, AMA officials fought both health insurance and group practice – any market form that might develop into a corporation.”
Read more about Professor Chapin’s work on the history department website.