History of health care

The briefing will take place on Friday, June 28 at 10:00 a.m. in the Gold Room, Rayburn HOB Room 2168.

Why is the American health care system so costly, complex, and challenging for those who seek to legislate improvements in access to and quality of care? The answers are rooted in the historical forces that gave rise to the current system. Two leading authorities on the history of American health care will explain how we got where we are today.

Please RSVP here via this link.

Meet the Presenters

Beatrix Hoffman is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University, where she is the 2017-19 Hainds Fellow in Undergraduate Teaching in the Humanities. She is the author of two books on the U.S. health care system, The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Insurance in Progressive America (2001), and Health Care for Some: Rights and Rationing in the United States since 1930 (2012), and a book co-edited with Rachel Grob, Mark Schlesinger, and Nancy Tomes, Patients as Policy Actors (2011). Hoffman’s current project is a history of access to health care for immigrants and migrants in the US.

Nancy Tomes is SUNY Distinguished Professor at Stony Brook University. Tomes has authored four books: A Generous Confidence: Thomas Story Kirkbride and the Art of Asylum Keeping (1984; reissued 1994); Madness in America: Cultural and Medical Perceptions of Mental Illness Before 1914, with Lynn Gamwell (1995); The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women and the Microbe in American Life (1998), and Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers (2016), which won the Bancroft Prize. She has co-edited two collections, Medicine’s Moving Pictures, with Leslie Reagan and Paula Treichler (2007) and Patients as Policy Actors with Beatrix Hoffman, Rachel Grob, and Mark Schlesinger (2011).

Meet the Moderator

Alan Kraut is University Professor of History at American University and a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute. Specializing in immigration and ethnic history and the history of medicine in the United States, he is the author or editor of nine books and many scholarly articles, including The Huddled Masses, the Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (1982; 2nd ed. 2001); Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the “Immigrant Menace.” (1994); Goldberger’s War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader (2003); and with his wife, Deborah, Covenant of Care: Newark Beth Israel and the Jewish Hospital in America (2007). He is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians, a past President of the Organization of American Historians, and current President of the National Coalition for History.