Another volume of adroit, unclouded analysis.




A thorough overview of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in its later years.   

Williams (Compromised, 2015), a former three-term Washington state representative and a former deputy insurance commissioner, follows up on his debut effort, which charted the initial passage of Obamacare. Here, he offers an intelligent and thought-provoking examination of the health care legislation’s strategic implementation as well as its obstacles, including repeal efforts. The book focuses on the period from 2009 to 2017, winding through the act’s serpentine specifics. Along the way, Williams looks at the collective history of four presidential administrations and their advocacy for health care reform. He also stresses that the dismantling of the act has already begun, as opposing Republican legislators, as well as the Trump administration, continue to search for misinterpretations, workarounds, and loopholes; the 2017 GOP tax bill repealed the act’s individual insurance mandate starting in 2019. Readers who remain baffled by its complexities will appreciate the author’s plainspoken, thoughtful analysis, replete with descriptions of the varied tiers of coverage and benefits packages, and walk-throughs to help readers understand how things could radically change. Some chapters solely address dizzying political challenges or such vexing issues as prescription pricing, while others focus on the specific pitfalls of state-based exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and abortion coverage. Some of these sections could prove to be too dryly academic and technical for readers hoping for lay interpretations. Even so, Williams’ report is astute and relevant throughout, as he highlights the debate between those eager to preserve Obama’s legacy and those who support President Donald Trump, who has insisted that a reformed health care program will more efficiently serve the American people. Finally, the author opines on the future of the act amid a labyrinth of bureaucracy, insurer dominance, and political dissension.

Another volume of adroit, unclouded analysis.

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-983684-71-5

Page Count: 292

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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