Florida State University

Every industrial nation in the world guarantees their citizens access to essential health care services; that is, every country except the United States. A shocking 46 million Americans (one in eight)—a majority of them in working families—have no health insurance.

In her new book, One Nation, Uninsured: Why the U.S. Has No National Health Insurance (Oxford, 2005), Professor Jill Quadagno describes our nation's failure to address the health care needs of its citizens. She shows how each attempt to enact national health insurance has been met with attacks by powerful stakeholders, who mobilized their considerable resources to keep the financing of health care out of the government's hands.

An internationally recognized expert and advisor to several U.S. presidents, Quadagno has been thrust in the spotlight with the book's publication. She was recently invited by U.S. Senator Harry Reid to make a presentation on a panel entitled "Getting to Universal Coverage: Challenges and Opportunities" at the annual Issues Conference for Democratic Senators. She has appeared on Ira Flatow's "Science Friday" (National Public Radio), the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, and Barry Lynn's "Culture Shocks." Paul Krugman of the New York Times recently featured her book in his op-ed article "Death by Insurance," and the Washington Post called it a "richly constructed history."

A member of the FSU Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy since 1987, Quadagno continues her research on our aging population. Over the past several years, she and her colleagues have received state, national, and University grants totaling over $500,000, enabling them to research assisted living facilities—the most rapidly growing option for providing long term care for the frail elderly. She and Dr. Debra Street recently completed a study of over 600 residents of these facilities, a study in which they examined the residents' health, life satisfaction, friendships, and family relationships. Results show that the most important factor in determining residents' well being is their social integration—whether they had made friends, or shared interests, with other residents and staff, and whether they felt like a member of the family.

Her knowledge and experience is also in much demand with Sociology students. She serves as the Faculty Advisor for six doctoral and four master's degree students and is the Director of Graduate Studies, a position that enables her to guide all graduate students in the department.

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