Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Booknote: Health Care Reform

I knew when I started reading this that I wanted to share this book. Now that I finished it, I do want to share the book with others. I think it is an excellent book on the topic for general readers. Apparently the book is so good that some people feel threatened by it. I borrowed the copy I read from the local public library. Our public library is not always known to be a bastion of open exchange of ideas. So, when I checked the book out, and I finally opened the first page to read it, this is what I found:

Yes, that is a photo of the first page as I found it when I got it from the public library. Apparently they don't check books very well when they are returned. Anyhow, a helpful local reader decided to make it his or her duty to let me know the following: "This book is heavily slanted toward a left-wing philosophy." I guess that the desire to educate others about better health care services and reform is a left-leaning cause. Has to be since right wingers pretty much do not believe in the common good. And I am willing to bet the "helpful" reader is probably a Medicare beneficiary (this is based on local demographic, which is heavy in terms of seniors. Aside from some children, I may well be one of the youngest readers the library gets). At any rate, I did feel the need to share that little tidbit as it is a reflection of the kind of nonsense I get to put up with on a close to daily basis. In the end, as tempted as I was to write back, "did you know that Richard Nixon proposed universal health care (he called it "comprehensive") at one point?" It is tempting, but I am simply removing the sticky note before I turn it in. The next reader does deserve a clean book.

Here is my review as I posted it to my GoodReads profile:

Health Care ReformHealth Care Reform by Jonathan Gruber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a must-buy for public libraries; a few academic libraries may probably want to acquire it as well, especially to have handy for freshmen writing research papers relating to health care reform issues.

The book is a basic explanation of the Affordable Care Act as well as an argument for the need of reform in American health care. However, do think that just because I say "basic" it is a simplistic book. Actually, the book provides very good, clear, concise explanations. It starts by laying out the current situation, the need for reform, and how the ACA moves towards that reform. The author is an economics scholar and one of the people who helped craft Massachusetts new health reform plan. The book also does a pretty good job to dispel the various myths and fear statements that opponents of reform have used to prevent reform from happening.

The books graphics are good. They are in black and white. Nothing fancy here, but the visual elements complements the content very nicely. If you want to learn more about the topic, this is certainly a very good place to start. If you have neighbors or friends who think it is all a conspiracy, that it is just "socialism in medicine," a government takeover, or other nonsense, hand them this book. It should help clear their objections. To be honest, maybe this is the kind of material we need for other forms of major legislation where the public needs to be educated. The book certainly is designed to educate the general reader on the topic, and it succeeds at that.

View all my reviews

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