Patel, Kant 1946-

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PATEL, Kant 1946-


Born January 18, 1946, in India; immigrated to United States, naturalized citizen; son of Bhadriklal and Chandan Patel. Ethnicity: "Asian Indian." Education: Wilson College, Bombay India, B.A., 1967; University of Bombay, India, M.A., 1969; University of Houston, 1971, M.A., 1971, Ph.D. 1976.


Home—1130 East Portland, Springfield, MO 65807. Office—Department of Political Science, Southwest Missouri State University, 901 South National, Springfield, MO 65804-0094. E-mail—[email protected]


University of Houston, Downtown Campus, Houston, TX, part-time lecturer, 1975-77, became visiting assistant professor of political science, 1976-77; Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, assistant professor, 1977-82, associate professor, 1982-87, professor of political science 1987—, department head, 1994-2000. Has served on numerous college committees and community advisory boards; editorial board, SMSU Journal of Public Affairs, 1997—.


Western Social Science Association, Policy Studies Organization.


University Research Award, Southwest Missouri State University, 2000.


(With Mark E. Rushefsky) Health Care Politics and Policy in America, M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1995, new revised edition, in press.

(With Mark E. Rushefsky) Politics, Power, and Policy Making: The Case of Health Care Reform in the 1990s, M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1998.

(With Mark E. Rushefsky) Health Care Policy in an Age of New Technologies, M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 2002.

(With Mark E. Rushefsky) The Politics of Public Health in America, M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 2004.

Contributor of articles to scholarly journals.


Professor Kant Patel, a specialist in public health care issues, has written a number books on this large topic. In 1995 he and Mark E. Rushefsky published the first of several editions of their Health Care Politics and Policy in America, an introduction to and survey of the complex American health care system. According to Deborah R. McFarlane, reviewing this "excellent" text for the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, this "volume can quickly bring students and practitioners with little or no background in health policy 'up to speed' in this complex policy area." American Political Science Review contributor Robert P. Rhodes noted the even-handedness of the authors' treatment of their subject: "The authors do not support either a particular theoretical framework, whether regulatory, market, or single payer, or a particular policy." He also praised the work for being well documented and clear, adding that the authors' "major contribution is in organizing a text that provides a chronology of health policy in a historic, political, and economic setting and that lays out the arguments for and against various proposals. Given the complexities of health care economics and politics, this is no simple exercise."

Patel and Rushefsky focused on health care politics in the 1990s in their next work, Politics, Power, and Policy Making: The Case of Health Care Reform in the 1990s. In this "excellent primer in health care policy," they provide an "excellent and concise summary of the history of health care reform," to quote Robert J. Spitzer in Perspectives on Political Science. The authors discuss presidential power theories, the reform efforts of President Clinton, and the roles of Congress and interest groups, the mass media, and public opinion in reform efforts. As an introduction or textbook on the topic, Politics, Power, and Policy Making garnered good reviews. For example, the "authors of this book lean more to student needs and understanding than issue exploration, meaning that health care specialists will probably find little here that is new," wrote Spitzer. "Still, the book is a welcome contribution because it explicates the health care maze in a highly accessible manner," an opinion shared by Richard Himelfarb of the Political Science Quarterly: "With the exception of their chapter on public opinion, Patel and Rushefsky's book is largely a summary of the scholarship in this area … [and their] unique contribution is collecting such explanations [of Clinton administration policy] and putting them in one place where they can be easily accessed." While the authors puzzle over the failure of President Clinton's health care reform plan, they do not provide satisfactory answers to the causes, according to Theodore R. Marmor, who discussed the work in American Political Science Review. "What Rushefsky and Patel do treat satisfactorily is the manic-depressive cycle of health politics following the Republican resurgence of 1994," Marmor commented, adding, "It is no easy feat to make sense of both the health reform struggles and what they mean for the performance of American political institutions." "Understood as a synthesis of scholarship on American politics," concluded Marmor, "this volume is exemplary, a useful book for teachers who want to infuse their treatment of American government with interesting, intricate material."

Patel told CA: "My writing has been influenced by works of authors such as Ted Marmor, Paul Star, and Lawrence Brown, among others.… My writing has been inspired by the unfairness of the American health care system. At the individual level, the United States provides some of the best medical care, yet at the macro level, the American health care system suffers from significant problems. The United States remains the only Western industrialized country in the world that does not provide national health insurance to its citizens. Around forty million Americans are uninsured. Children, women, and minorities suffer from a significant amount of inequality in the American health care system. The American health care system puts more emphasis on the curative model of health care at the neglect of the preventive model. The result is an over-emphasis on costly high-tech medicine that prolongs life but does not cure diseases. Rapid advances in biomedical technologies also raise significant ethical issues that often are ignored."



American Political Science Review, June, 1996, Robert P. Rhodes, review of Health Care Politics and Policy in America, pp. 436-437; June, 1999, Theodore R. Marmor, review of Politics, Power, and Policy Making: The Case of Health Care Reform in the 1990s, pp. 458-459.

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, December, 1998, Deborah R. McFarlane, review of Health Care Politics and Policy in America, pp. 1012-1015.

Perspectives on Political Science, winter, 1998, Robert J. Spitzer, review of Politics, Power, and Policy Making, p. 37.

Policy Studies Journal, summer, 2000, review of Health Care Politics and Policy in America, p. 449.

Political Science Quarterly, winter, 1998, Richard Himelfarb, review of Politics, Power, and Policy Making, pp. 714-716.