According to Dr. Matthew Stein, the current health care debate can be framed as the tension between opportunity and equity in American values. On one hand, health care can be understood as a privilege that one must earn and purchase as an individual–an opportunity. On the other hand, health care is a basic requirement for a life of liberty as a part of the social contract that Americans share as a part of the common welfare–a question of equity.
Dr. Stein, a retired physician, is a student of the history of health care and health insurance. With that background, he explained the evolution of health care models in America and defined various types of health insurance. His comments clarified terms in the current debate on health care.
In his presentation, Stein referenced an article published in The Commonwealth Fund by Sara R. Collins. Collins provides a tool to compare the range of health care reform ideas currently under consideration in Congress.
Retired from his oncology practice at LMH, Stein has taught seminars on the history of health care and related topics at KU for a number of years.