If you're baffled by the proceedings in this week's Supreme Court hearings on Health Care, you're not alone, according to almost every major news outlet. Here are some experts in various fields to shed some light:
The New York Times reported on March 24that the Supreme Court was being inundated by political pressure from various interest groups: "136 so far." For the low down on how interest groups work and which are the most powerful (guess?), turn to Matt Grossman's The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance. (Incidentally, Matt's book is also key to understanding the power of special interest groups like ALEC in relation to Florida's "Stand Your Ground Act," which Paul Krugman recently commented on, also in the New York Times.
On the topic of the Supreme Court and outside pressure, Keith Bybee's All Judges Are Political--Except When They're Not: Acceptable Hypcrosoes and the Rule of Law speaks to how the politicization of the court might be especially in play, given that the health care law deeply divides democrats and republicans. And you can decide for yourself whether Justice Antonin Scalia is as immune as he purports to be to all those "amicus curaie" briefs that have been flooding the Court in recent weeks!
For a clear, unbiased look at the fundamentals of the Health Care Act, turn to Professor and former Director of the Graduate Program in Health Sector Management at Boston University, and frequent blogger for the Huffington Post on healthcare issues, Stephen M. Davidson. His Still Broken: Understanding the US Healthcare System will help readers assess the arguments made by partisans on both sides of the continuing debate; understand why and how President Obama was able to get Congress to pass a comprehensive reform bill even though most of his predecessors tried and failed; and understand why so many Americans are either confused about its value or actually oppose it.
Finally, two issues seem to haunt any of the conversations we've been having about health care reform since Hillary Clinton first ignited the subject almost 2 decades ago: the economic infeasibility of the status quo and "state's rights." Two experts, Richard Scheffler and Erwin Chemerinsky, can offer insight into these topics; for more info see their respective books, Is There a Doctor in the House? Market Signals and Tomorrow's Supply of Doctors and Enhancing Government: Federalism for the 21st Century.