The Battle over Health Care: What Obama’s Reform Means for America’s Future

Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh. Rowman & Littlefield, $24.95 (190p) ISBN 978-1-4422-1449-1
Health care expert Gibson and World Bank economist Singh (coauthors of Wall of Silence) present a well-argued view that the heralded Obama health care reforms may be adverse to the public interest, since by “plowing even more funding into health care, the reform law cements inefficiency in the system.” The reforms increase insurers’ market share, giving them access to 16 million new customers beginning in 2014, but proposed subsidies for individual insurance policies simply foster greater demand, enabling continuing cost increases. By 2030, the authors estimate that health care will consume 25 percent of the country’s income, and comprehensive insurance will be unaffordable, even with subsidies. In passionate language, they prescribe possible remedies, but many are the usual suspects, for example, tackling fraud in health care spending. Meanwhile, the prognosis that the baby boomers will overwhelm Medicare might induce the despairing reader to take two aspirins. But don’t call the doctor in the morning; “a conservative estimate is that 225,000 people die every year from preventable harm in the health care system.” As one observer says: “‘They harm you and they bill you for it.’” (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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