IN CRITICAL CONDITION: The Crisis in America's Health Care by Edward M. Kennedy

IN CRITICAL CONDITION: The Crisis in America's Health Care

Email this review


Nothing remotely new in this frankly onesided diagnosis. Kennedy's well-publicized criticism of the American medical system -- ""the United States pays more per capita for health care than any other industralized nation in the world, yet it gets less health care"" -- is reinforced over and again here by selected testimony before the Senate Health Subcommittee which is chaired by the Senator. All manner of people from a Chicago piano tuner to Kennedy's Senate colleague Harold Hughes tell pretty much the same story: doctors, hospitals, and private medical insurers are milk-legging the public by frequently charging outrageous fees while providing slipshod, insensitive service. Chapter headings further buttress the assault: ""Where Have All the Doctors Gone?"" (certainly not on house calls); ""The Medical Maze"" (like a trapped rat with fallen arches); ""Businessmen or Healers?"" (it's rhetorical). . . . Decent health care everyone can afford is, the Senator contends, practically a constitutional right, not some utopian perquisite for another time and place; moreover, other countries -- Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Isiael -- are doing the job better via socialized medical schemes. Predictably, at the end. Kennedy outlines the provisions of his pending Health Security Act legislation, a bill which if passed would provide federal health insurance making almost all medical services free to everyone. Obviously Senator Kennedy believes that our health care system is in urgent need of open-heart surgery, but it is doubtful if this exhortation will convince the patient.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1972
Publisher: Simon & Schuster