What Health Reform Reveals About Health Law

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter describes the arc of health reform in the U.S. over the Twentieth Century and explores how the most-recent major reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, offers a window into the idiosyncrasies of U.S. health care law and the values that have shaped this field. This chapter considers themes such as the influence of market-based ideology, federalism, and professionalism on health law. It illustrates how the Affordable Care Act policies that most strongly push against these preexisting values have resulted in conflict, Yet, these same policies may over time initiate a gradual transformation of these legal norms.


Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, healthcare law, healthcare financing, healthcare delivery, universal coverage, health insurance, federalism, Medicaid, healthcare exchanges, health reform

Publication Title

The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law