Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy


Health Care I: Historical Perspectives on Health Reform

Shambaugh Auditorium
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 6:30 PM


This class will review the history of health care and efforts to reform the health care system in the United States. It will also provide an overview of the US health care system, health care spending and a comparison of the US health care system to those in Canada, Great Britain, Japan and the Netherlands.

A History of Overhauling Health Care
Colin Gordon, We’ve Been Here Before: History and Health Reform  (Princeton University Press Blog, September 2009)
Colin Gordon, Hands Off My Medicare: The Deadly Legacy of Social Insurance (LA Progressive, January 2010)

Kaiser Foundation’s Kaiser Health News
Commonwealth Fund's Health Reform page
Ezra Klein's blogWashington Post
Jonathan Cohn's blogNew Republic
The New Health Dialogue at the New America Foundation
David Leonhardt,  New York Times
American Medical Association
Physicians for National Health Care
Conservatives for Patients' Rights
Health Policy at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center


  • Colin Gordon

    Colin Gordon

    Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of Iowa

    Professor Gordon’s research interests focus on public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. He has published three books in this area, including Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America, which reviews the history of health care policy in the United States during that period. He is also a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. He is the author of several IPP reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions, including the biennial State of Working Iowa series. Dr. Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving as Chair of the University of Iowa Department of History. To visit Dr. Gordon's web page, click here.

  • Peter Damiano

    Peter Damiano

    Director, Public Policy Center Preventive and Community Dentistry University of Iowa

    Peter Damiano is the Director of the Public Policy Center (PPC) and Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry at the University of Iowa. He started the health policy research program at the PPC in 1990 and has been Director of the Center since July 2007. He is a health services researcher who investigates issues relating to access to care, quality, cost and outcomes of care. Dr. Damiano has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and research monographs and has been the principal investigator on over 50 research studies funded by federal, state and Foundation sources. He is a former staff intern in the US Senate, a Robert Wood Johnson Dental Health Services Research Scholar and HRSA Primary Care Policy Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry (DDS) and UCLA School of Public Health (MPH).