Paul Starr

Paul Starr is co-founder and co-editor of the The American Prospect. and professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction and the Bancroft Prize in American history, he is the author of seven books, including most recently Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Heath Care Reform (Yale University Press, revised ed. 2013). Click here to read more about Starr.

Recent Articles

A True Republican Health-Care Unraveling

The reaction against the GOP could boost progressive organizing and bolder reforms.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik House Speaker Paul Ryan pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017. The following article, which appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect under the title “The Republican Health-Care Unraveling: Resist Now, Rebound Later,” went to press on Tuesday, March 21, before the Republicans gave up on their health-care bill and pulled it from a vote. But while the first section of the article is now moot (at least for the time being), the second part (“Blocking Trump’s Chaos Option”) and the third (“The Next Progressive Health Agenda”) are pertinent to what happens next. - P.S., March 24, 2017. I magine if Donald Trump had been a genuine populist and followed through on his repeated promises to provide health insurance to everybody and take on the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Populists in other countries have done similar things, and Trump might have consolidated support by emulating them. Of course,...

The Next Progressive Health Agenda

Part II of The Republican Health-Care Unraveling

Erik McGregor/Sipa via AP Images
Erik McGregor/Sipa via AP Images Health-care justice advocates and other grassroots groups gather outside Trump Tower to protest against President Trump's pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is the second part of a two-part article. Part I is here . The full version appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect under the title: “The Republican Health-Care Unraveling: Resist Now, Rebound Later.” This is the “rebound” part. Subscribe here to the magazine. E ven as they resist the Republican rollback of the ACA and Medicaid, Democrats should be thinking about new initiatives in health care. No doubt the next steps will depend in part on what Trump and the Republicans end up doing. In the wake of federal legislation, many of the critical decisions in the short run may move to the states. But Democrats cannot limit themselves to defensive efforts to salvage the ACA at either the federal or the state level. They need to think about a more attractive national agenda in...

The Republican Health-Care Unraveling

Part I

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Michael Reynolds/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy discuss the House Republican's new health-care plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This is the first part of a two-part article. The full version appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect under the title: “The Republican Health-Care Unraveling: Resist Now, Rebound Later.” This is the “resist” part. Subscribe here to the magazine. I magine if Donald Trump had been a genuine populist and followed through on his repeated promises to provide health insurance to everybody and take on the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Populists in other countries have done similar things, and Trump might have consolidated support by emulating them. Of course, Trump’s promises about health care weren’t any more genuine than his promises about Trump University. But even if he had been in earnest, he would have still faced a problem. Unlike right-...

When an Election Damages Democracy

American democracy faces the risk of systemic harm in 2016.

Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx via AP
Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx via AP Donald Trump at a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on October 10, 2016. This article, written in September, appears under the title "When Elections Fail" in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . O ne of the great advantages of liberal democracy is the potential for self-correction. If an election works out badly, the next one offers an opportunity to make a better choice, and in the meantime constitutional guarantees keep the winners from abusing their power. But sometimes elections fail so disastrously as to threaten irremediable damage to a society’s foundations. The United States faces that risk this year. Systemically damaging election failure can happen in several ways. Elections may be rigged or manipulated and, even when they haven’t been, the suspicion that they have may impair a new government’s legitimacy and create a constitutional crisis. Elections can fail when they put...

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