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In Poverty and the Myths of Health Care Reform, Dr. Richard (Buz) Cooper argues that US poverty and high health care spending are inextricably entwined. Our nation’s health care system bears a financial burden that is greater than in any other developed country in large part because impoverished patients use more health care, driving up costs across the board.

Drawing on decades of research, Dr. Cooper illuminates the geographic patterns of poverty, wealth, and health care utilization that exist across neighborhoods, regions, and states—and between countries. He chronicles the historical threads that have led to such differences, examines the approaches that have been taken to combat poverty throughout US history, and analyzes the impact that structural changes now envisioned for clinical practice are likely to have. His research reveals that ignoring the impact of low income on health care utilization while blaming rising costs on waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary care has led policy makers to reshape clinical practice in ways that impede providers who care for the poor.

The first book to address the fundamental nexus that binds poverty and income inequality to soaring health care utilization and spending, Poverty and the Myths of Health Care Reform is a must-read for medical professionals, public health scholars, politicians, and anyone concerned with the heavy burden of inequality on the health of Americans.

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