Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Improve Our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System

PublicAffairs. 2014. 384p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610393454. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781610393461. MED
OrangeReviewStarNew York Times columnist Emanuel (medical ethics, health policy, Univ. of Pennsylvania), a White House special adviser on health care reform, ably assesses the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA; commonly called Obamacare) on the American health care system in this timely volume. Emanuel carefully explains and illustrates serious problems with the current set up, the history of failed attempts at improvement, and the details of the ACA itself. In his estimation, controlling health care costs is good economics and will accelerate the economy rather than slow it down. Although the author acknowledges that the ACA is politically divisive, he makes a convincing case for its potential. Emanuel concedes that he is an optimist, but nevertheless admits that no piece of legislation is perfect and devotes a chapter of the book to possible implementation problems. He also points out that the health care system is dynamic and will require ongoing amendments and maintenance.
VERDICT Readers with an interest in current political and social issues will appreciate Emanuel's frank policy discussions. Because all Americans are affected by the ACA the chapters detailing the content and personal implications of the act will be of value and interest to everyone.
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