Reed—a neurologist—provides a passionate and detailed look at the American health care system.
The health care crisis in the United States has inspired a number of publicly expressed opinions, particularly in recent years, but rarely does the public hear from a vital component of the health care system: physicians. Beginning with her personal interests that led her into the field, Reed outlines her particular history and experiences in order to establish her authority as a medical doctor and to explain the differences between the historical system used in the U.S. and its present incarnation. Along the way, she highlights aspects of medicine that aren’t commonly discussed in public venues: the peculiar liability requirements physicians face, their lack of control over certain aspects of business most entrepreneurs take for granted, and the specific barriers to market entry for doctors. Dr. Reed winds up her explanations with a concise analysis of the modern U.S. health care system and her suggestions for its improvement. This insider’s view of health care—not the actual practice of medicine, but the nuts and bolts of how care providers, insurance and patient responsibility intertwine—clearly portrays complex concepts and the workings of the overall system. Although Reed clearly has opinions regarding the politics of health care, which she makes clear in an afterword, she explains her reasoning in evenhanded terms and takes care to avoid egregiously biased rhetoric. Despite the repetition of certain key words and lines, which creates a fleeting impression of heavy-handedness early in the text, the book educates readers about one of the thorniest issues in modern U.S. political discourse.
An excellent primer for gaining a better understanding of the U.S. health care system.