The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 will likely generate a library shelf of books and doctoral dissertations over the next decade. Two of the early books are featured in this review. Both are expansions of earlier books written just before or after passage of the law. In the first, Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol have written a book that is a “must-have” reference for anyone interested in understanding the process and factors associated with the development and passage of the ACA, as well as the tangled aftermath of this legislation. In this book they explain how the law, the likes of which has not been seen in the United States since the enactment of Medicare in 1965, was made possible.

The book follows a timeline that begins with the run-up to the 2008 presidential election and moves...

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