Initial reaction: I started reading this book back in 2012 as a galley and ended up finally picking it back up and finished this past year (2015). It expands upon some interesting topics in the realm of healthcare. Granted, while this was written before the execution of the Affordable Care Act, I would say this is a valuable read in terms of highlighting the problems that the health care system has and how those problems can grow if left unaddressed. It definitely made me think about such issues in more ways than one.
I’ll start this review with an anecdote on the importance of health care in the U.S. and how it’s failing the people it’s supposed to be serving. My sister and I were watching a segment on the news about a woman who had breast cancer. She lost her job because she was too sick to work and couldn’t be covered under her employer’s insurance. Because she didn’t have a job, she couldn’t afford health insurance. She tried signing up for Open Enrollment, but didn’t qualify. She tried signing up for Medicare, but was denied because the state she lived in chose not to expand Medicare/Medicaid coverage. As a result, no doctors could/would see her, she hasn’t been for a screening since 2012, and she’s barely making ends meet after losing her father to cancer and taking care of a sick mother even when her own health isn’t in the best of shape (though she is certainly willing to try to go back to work – she’s since been contacted by a non-profit organization and she’s trying to earn certification to work from home).
Cases like this drive me up the wall as someone who’s passionate about and whose educational background are linked with the medical/healthcare field. I ended up picking up this book as food for thought and I thought it did an excellent job highlighting some of the major problems in the healthcare industry in the United States – from the shortage of doctors to the importance of lifestyle and environmental changes, to attitudes about genetic influences on health, to the roles of several key players in the healthcare system and overarching government roles. It touches on these issues in meaningful and expanded ways, though it is by no means an all-inclusive resource (and this is addressed in the preface as being a bit beyond the scope of the narrative, but I applaud that they touch bases on important points to consider).
I’d definitely say this is a good book to pick up as a resource in terms of looking at issues within the healthcare system – whether it be funding, processes, personnel, attitudes, and the overarching system in general. I found it a fascinating read, and will refer to it for future reference.
Overall score: 4/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Dorsam Publishing/PRbytheBook.