ABOUT THIS BOOK
David M. Craig traveled across the United States to assess health care access, delivery and finance in this country. He interviewed religious hospital administrators and interfaith activists, learning how they balance the values of economic efficiency and community accountability. He met with conservatives, liberals, and moderates, reviewing their ideas for market reform or support for the Affordable Care Act. He discovered that health care in the US is not a private good or a public good. Decades of public policy and philanthropic service have made health care a shared social good.
Health Care as a Social Good: Religious Values and the American Democracy argues that as escalating health costs absorb more and more of family income and government budgets, we need to take stock of the full range of health care values to create a different and more affordable community-based health care system. Transformation of that system is a national priority but Americans have failed to find a way to work together that bypasses our differences. Craig insists that community engagement around the common religious conviction that healing is a shared responsibility can help us achieve this transformation—one that will not only help us realize a new and better system, but one that reflects the ideals of American democracy and the common good.
David M. Craig is associate professor of religious studies and the Thomas H. Lake Scholar in Religion and Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He is the author of John Ruskin and the Ethics of Consumption (University of Virginia Press, 2006).
Taking a novel and helpful approach to health care policy debates, David M. Craig explores how religious language and values shape political visions about how to provide health care to citizens. . . . The book is thoroughly researched and approachably written. . . . One great strength of the book is that it outlines in accessible detail how truly complex our current system is and what a patchwork of values are embedded in it. . . . Paired with insightful ethical and religious analysis, this tour of our current health care system offers readers an unusual opportunity to rethink how and why we organize health care delivery as we do.
-- Political Science Quarterly
Noteworthy and timely . . . A considered and considerate text that breaches the ideological divide between political conservatives and political liberals.
-- Health Progress
Does a truly remarkable job with a detailed and comprehensible analysis of the competing moral languages of the U.S. health care as a private benefit/choice, as a public benefit, and as a social good.
-- Kevin Quinn America Magazine
A rare, and needed, perspective . . . [which] serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to learn about the interconnections between religion, ethics, and economic theory in the highly politicized medical marketplace in the United States.
-- Religious Studies Review
Inspiring . . . His analysis of the current health care situation in the United States is quite perceptive.
-- The Journal of Religion
Could become as significant for discussions of American life as Habits of the Heart (1985; updated ed., 2008) and The Good Society (CH, Mar'92, 29-4200), both by Robert N. Bellah et al., were for the late 20th century.
-- G.R. Thursby, University of Florida CHOICE Connect
In a political atmosphere about health care policy that is marked more by hysteria than reasonable discussion, this book provides a welcome oasis. . . . The author is respectful towards the various arguments and attempts to create a tentative solution using the best of the various positions that he discusses.
-- Catholic Library World
A brilliant book that carefully analyzes the ethical foundation of conservative arguments for market reform and liberal arguments for individual rights in health care.
-- Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
"Noteworthy and timely . . . A considered and considerate text that breaches the ideological divide between political conservatives and political liberals."
-- Health Progress
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: Hearing Health Care Values
I. The Moral Languages of US Health Care1. Health Care as a Private Benefit or Private Choice 2. Health Care as a Public Right3. Health Care as a Social Good
II. Religious Values in Health Policy, Markets, and Politics4. Modeling Community Benefit: Social Contract, Common Good, Covenant 5. Assessing Market-Driven Reforms: Economy without Solidarity 6. Building Solidarity: Religious Activism and Social Justice
Conclusion: Religious Values and Community Care