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Public Health Book Talk and Discussion

Feb 7 @ 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

cover of book on blue-green background

“Grow and Hide: The History of America’s Health Care State”

A book talk and conversation on Feb. 7 with Colleen M. Grogan in conversation with UCLA Luskin Professor Mark Peterson

Wednesday, February 7, 2024
Noon–1 p.m.

For more than 160 years, federal, state, and local governments in the United States have invested heavily in public health and health care services. Yet throughout history, our taxpayer-supported health care architecture has remained mostly hidden to the American public behind the veneer of a predominantly private system. How did this happen?

Grogan, a renowned expert on the U.S. health care system, will share answers from her new book “Grow and Hide: The History of America’s Health Care State.” Grogan’s sweeping history of the American health care state explains how and why the grow-and-hide phenomenon arose from 1866 to 1965, and details the consequences we’ve all felt from 1965 to the present.

Grogan argues that a combination of factors allowed the grow-and-hide regime to take root.

Patronage politics, contracting with nonprofits, and administering health care among multiple agencies at all levels of government essentially hid the extent of government involvement and shaped a national discourse that perpetuated the myth of a predominantly private system.

The consequences for the American public are an expensive system that encourages profiteering and fails to hold the private sector accountable. It’s also an inequitable system with inconsistent transparency that reveals public funding for poor and stigmatized groups, while hiding public subsidies for middle- and upper-income Americans.

The book talk will be followed by a conversation with Peterson.

Colleen M. Grogan, PhD

Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor
University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

Mark A. Peterson, PhD
Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA College, and UCLA School of Law

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