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Posted February 22, 2013
Should Be Required Reading For All
This book is an expansion and elaboration of the themes and points made by the author in an article he wrote for The Atlantic back when the Affordable Care Act was being drafted. The new material is well-researched, important and just as on-point as the items in the original article. The point of the article and the book is that the source of many of the healthcare system's problems is the undue market influence that results from "health insurance" being the middle-man between the patient and the provider. Anyone who has had any health problem is coming to realize the flaws in our "system," the most revealing being that it is impossible to find out what a given procedure or surgery will cost the patient. When you have a basic 2-hour out-patient procedure, then receive a bill for $10,000, then see your health provider knock the bill down to $1000 and ask you to pay $300, it is impossible to determine true "value" and true "cost" of any of this. This book explains in the simplest terms, using basic real-life examples how the over-arching control by insurance companies of health costs and charges has distorted our system and has resulted in uneven billing, ridiculous write-ups and write-downs and, on top of all this, the ever-decreasing level of service that one receives from the medical community. There is no single culprit here, but it becomes clear that this is legitimate turf for the government to come in and exert its clout to put the health care industry back on a market-based model where consumers have the power they now enjoy in almost every other area where goods and services are bought and sold. The author proposes some solutions, and they appear viable, but political forces will make any change anytime soon very difficult if not impossible.
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