Universal health coverage has become the Mount Everest of public policy in the United States: the most daunting challenge on the political landscape. But, despite numerous attempts, all efforts to achieve universal health care have failed. In Universal Coverage, Rick Mayes examines the peculiar and persistent lack of universal health coverage in America, its economic and political origins dating back to the 1930s, and the current consequences of this significant problem. Accessible, cleverly argued, and provocative. Mayes provides fresh answers to the enduring question of why the U.S. lacks national health insurance. ---Jonathan Oberlander, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Author of The Political Life of Medicare Aaron Wildavsky said good policy studies should use policy as a window on politics. Mayes does it brilliantly. --- Deborah Stone, Dartmouth College A readable and accessible account that is informed by previous scholarship yet backed up by telling details from historical archives. --- Jacob Hacker, Yale University This book makes a genuine contribution to the literatures on political institutions and interest groups. --- Kevin Esterling, University of California, Riverside Mayes is highly knowledgeable about health policy and his writing is clear and spirited. --- Martha Derthick, University of Virginia Rick Mayes is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy in the University of Richmond's Department of Political Science and a Faculty Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley's Petris Center on Healthcare Markets and Consumer Welfare.