Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works

Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works

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by Jonathan Gruber, Nathan Schreiber
     
 

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You won't have to worry about going broke if you get sick.

We will start to bring the costs of health care under control.

And we will do all this while reducing the federal deficit.

That is the promise of the Affordable Care Act. But from the moment President Obama signed the bill into law in 2010, a steady and mounting avalanche of misinformation about the

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Overview

You won't have to worry about going broke if you get sick.

We will start to bring the costs of health care under control.

And we will do all this while reducing the federal deficit.

That is the promise of the Affordable Care Act. But from the moment President Obama signed the bill into law in 2010, a steady and mounting avalanche of misinformation about the ACA has left a growing majority of Americans confused about what it is, why it's necessary, and how it works. If you're one of them, buy this book. From how to tame the twin threats of rising costs and the increasing number of uninsured to why an insurance mandate is good for your health, Health Care Reform dispels false fears by arming you with facts.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As its subtitle indicates, this book is about more than entertainment. It delivers information, like Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, through an earnest but informal lecture by a cartoon version of an expert—in this case Gruber, an MIT economics professor who helped craft Massachusetts’s successful health care reform plan as well as the Affordable Care Act, which has been the subject of so much confusion and deliberate misinformation. He begins the presentation by confronting a small group of people with the enormous medical bills they could receive after medical treatment, then moves from the individual to the national level to show that our present system is unfair and unsustainable. The explanation of how the ACA can fix the problems may not convince all readers, but they’ll come away with a clearer understanding of what the real issues are. Schrieber’s simple black and white art effectively uses symbols and some basic charts to help explain the morass. An effective use of comics as part of a public policy debate. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Just who is Gruber to explain health-care reform? He's an award-winning MIT economist, director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a key architect of the wide-ranging Massachusetts health-care plan, a member of the board now implementing that plan, and an adviser to Barack Obama whose work shaped the national reform plan passed in 2010. With the help of award-winning artist/illustrator Motter, Gruber takes a graphic approach to the topic that should help clarify the thorny issues involved. Let's hope that everyone who should read this book does so.
Kirkus Reviews
A cartoon-driven examination of what's wrong with the American way of health care--and why the legislative reform of 2010 was necessary. "Every one of us knows that America's health care system is a mess," writes Gruber (Economics/MIT), who helped draw up the Massachusetts reforms for which Mitt Romney is now taking such a beating from the right. And for good reason: The hard right characterizes any kind of government management of health care as socialism, while others across the political spectrum believe that the unchecked profit motive assures that health care will remain expensive and differentially accessible. Gruber turns up some astonishing figures for which Schreiber's accompanying illustrations carry an appropriate sense of alarm. For instance, in 1960 health care cost less than 3 percent of the federal budget, while the "largest single expenditure now is on health care," likely to incur a deficit of $100 trillion--that's trillion with a tee--in the near future. The author glosses over one obvious reason, namely the aging of the baby boom generation, while examining the big business that health care has become. By way of a pointed example, he considers what would happen to four very different people given the same medical emergency, namely a heart attack: Someone with decent benefits would be covered, while someone working on the fringe of the economy, as so many are these days, would pay most expenses out of pocket--and if he or she could actually get private coverage, it would be costly and incomplete. The Massachusetts plan, Gruber maintains, offers one cure, though the insurance industry has done all that it could to void the spirit if not the letter of the law. The omnibus health-care reform act that narrowly squeaked through Congress is a necessary start, but with more to do. Timely and informative. Where was so clear an explication during the health-care brouhaha on Capitol Hill?

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809053971
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
12/20/2011
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
717,817
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

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