A conversational guide that simplifies complex health care options.




A former health care industry insider offers tips for securing quality care without paying top dollar.

As a consultant, debut author Heiser advised corporations on how to cut their health care costs. In this book, he makes that service available to laypeople who may be perplexed by their health insurance choices. The author notes that, due to confusion and a sense of helplessness, today’s “consumers are…disenfranchised by the healthcare complex.” His aim is to show them how to take their power back and become proactive about their health. The book provides a brief history of third-party health payments, beginning in the 1920s, and a useful rundown of the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act. Heiser tallies the average lifetime costs of medical treatment for men and women, itemizing health care spending per year (which, combined, works out to be 17.9% of the U.S. gross domestic product), and lays out the expected prices of routine exams and catastrophic illnesses. It’s sobering to see these numbers set out so plainly; a premature birth, for example could set you back $235,245, while the high-end cost of leukemia treatment is $2.3 million. The best way to avoid astronomical medical bills is to avoid getting sick, the author observes; to that end, he discusses the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle—good diet, adequate exercise, not smoking, and reducing stress. However, he acknowledges that even the healthy and well prepared can fall victim to random illnesses, so it’s essential to have solid coverage. His invaluable comparison of health insurance plans includes clear definitions of jargon, and he also explains hospital markups, medical tourism, and alternative or supplemental insurance plans. He gives advice on how to choose a medical provider, what questions to ask before a procedure, and how to access lower-cost prescription drugs. Along the way, the pace is snappy, with short sentences, charts, bullet points, and rhetorical questions that make all the information easily digestible and never overwhelming. The informal, no-nonsense tone occasionally verges on impolite (“Get my point?”), but ultimately, this makes sense, as Heiser wants the reader to be a wise shopper rather than a “passive participant in the system.”

A conversational guide that simplifies complex health care options.

Pub Date: June 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-1197-9

Page Count: 262

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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