Tuesday, April 04, 2006

2353 Book review: The Health Care Mess

I haven't checked the catalog yet, but I'm betting my local public library has this title.

Julius Richmond, Rashi Fein. The Health Care Mess - How We Got Into It and What It Will Take to Get Out. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. 294pp. $26.95

According to a review in the New England Journal of Medicine (March 23, 2006), this book was written by two former members of Democratic administrations (although I didn't know anyone from the Truman administration was still writing) one of whom was the founder of Head Start, a 40 year old, tax supported failure. Jimmy Carter wrote the forward, and both Daniel Schorr and Ted Kennedy are promoting it, and the four photos of Truman, Johnson, Kennedy and Clinton demonstrate the authors' bipartisanship! Richmond as received the Heinz Award (remember Mrs. Kerry?) Wow. Is this singing to the choir, or what? The reviewer, David Hyman, MD (UIUC) describes the system they want:

1. Single payer system
2. Raise taxes
3. Regulate all options and choices for the consumer and doctors
4. Marginalize all for-profit enterprises in medicine
5. Create a new bureaucracy, both regionally and nationally
6. The IRS will collect the premiums
7. Don't stop there--include changes in housing, environment, etc.

This is nothing new--trees were killed for this? But Hyman does praise the authors' sophisticated and sensible history from the trenches (the grave?) of the left, and points out that this is a view from academe, not the clinic.

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