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Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works Paperback – December 20, 2011


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Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works + The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care + Understanding Health Policy, Sixth Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; 1 edition (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809053977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809053971
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


A Look Inside Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works
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Review

“Jonathan Gruber, one of the country’s smartest health care minds, has brought the epic struggle of health reform to life. By explaining the challenges in our health care system as well as the benefits of the reform with imagination and verve, he accomplishes what many have tried and failed to do—he makes the case for health reform as an important achievement for the American people.” —Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress

“Having spent years working to make health care work for Americans, Jonathan Gruber has now provided another service: walking everyone through the benefits of the Affordable Care Act reforms so consumers are armed with accessible information. In an age when information is power, Gruber’s book is fun and informative, and it boils down the facts of health care reform for all Americans.” —Senator John Kerry
 
“If you want to learn about health care reform, you can do no better than to learn from the master. Jonathan Gruber shows how health care reform works in a way that everyone can understand. Read this book. You will not regret it.” —David Cutler, Professor, Department of Economics and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
 
“Jonathan Gruber’s straightforward explanation of what the Affordable Care Act does and why will help people understand what’s true and what’s false about the health reform law. His message is clear and easy to get: when it comes to health care, we’re all in it together; and, together, we will benefit from making the Affordable Care Act a success.” —Judy Feder, Professor and former Dean, Georgetown Public Policy Institute

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Customer Reviews

Putting the information in the form of a graphic novel made it very easy to understand and very fast reading.
Dolly Madison
If after reading it you still feel like someone is hiding something you will at least have the knowledge and know the lingo to do your own research.
K. Baker
Gruber's book should be required reading for anyone interested in learning about the Affordable Health Care Act.
Douglas Day

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 64 people found the following review helpful By L. Wilson VINE VOICE on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book is well worth getting and loaning or finding and borrowing. "Health Care Reform" provides a pretty complete overview of the Affordable Care Act--a subject of much distortion and complaint from the left, the right, and the extreme right.

Jonathan Gruber presents his information in the form of a black and white graphic book. It is easy and quick to read, while gives important information about this new law that is slowly going into effect. He covers all aspects of the law, addresses many of the extreme-right myths, and includes reasons that many of the decisions were made. Throughout the book, he appears to focus on the economics rather than the health aspects, although he frequently includes the fact that people will be healthier.

Gruber was actively involved with the development of both the Massachusetts health care program and the ACA. He is able to write from the position of knowledge of both the economics and the politics involved. His conclusions are overall optimistic: The ACA will improve the health of Americans and keep down the cost.

Gruber is pretty optimistic about the further development of the law. He "has confidence" that state planning will work. In states like Wisconsin, though, the governor is refusing to do any planning in hopes that it won't work and he and his cronies can blame someone else for it. Gruber mentions this kind of situation, but there is little he can do to address it in a book with this focus and size.

Unfortunately, I have a few complaints. First, his description of the crisis is pretty extreme. The health care crisis is very serious, but it is not as extreme as some people have painted it. On the other hand, the opposition smiles and says, "Everything is perfect," so maybe the overstating is necessary.
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61 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on December 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a daring experiment consisting in treating a complex subject and distilling it to its essential information through a short cartoon medium. After reading this book slowly in just an hour and a half I am convinced this experiment is onto something.

The experiment worked for several reasons. First, Jonathan Gruber, the author is the real deal. As an MIT economics professor specializing in health care policy no one understands this topic any better. Additionally, Gruber expresses himself in clear and simple everyday language that is appropriate for the cartoon medium. He also uses an apolitical tone acknowledging fully the reservations of both the left and the right. Second, the illustrator, Nathan Schreiber, is very good. The cartoon is not too cute. It is just right.

In just a little bit over an hour, you will absorb most of what you need to know about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This short book makes you understand why the existing system is costly, unsustainable, broken, and dangerous. Every year the majority of individual bankruptcies are caused by medical related expenses (running probably at one million individual bankruptcies a year). And, over 20,000 die a year because of inadequate access to health care. Defending the current system can only be explained as an act of ignorance. Similarly, screaming against the ACA as many have is also an act of ignorance. Gruber addresses all the screaming on either side of the aisle and simply states, Ok let's cool down here is what ACA really is and is not.

Gruber explains at length the basic trade off. Its foundation is the reviled mandate.
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32 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Frederick S. Goethel VINE VOICE on January 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The primary author of this book is a Professor of Economics at MIT and was on the team that helped develop the model for health care reform in Massachusetts, so he has more than a little credibility on the subject....in fact, he is an expert. In this book he explains, in relatively simple language, the facts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which was passed by Congress several years ago and which is scheduled to be in full effect by 2014.

At first I was a little taken aback when I opened the book and discovered it had been written in a comic book format, but as I read on, I realized that the author was doing a great job of explaining how all of this works and was doing so in a simple fashion that was easy to understand. He works to piece together all of the various parts of the law into a seamless story, and along the way he debunks many of the myths about the Act, such as "death panels" and other fear mongering political stunts that were used to confuse people. When broken down in this way, it turns out the law is fairly simple to understand.

The author takes a bipartisan look at the law and points out that many of the provision were things that conservatives have been trying to pass into law for years. He also does a great job of explaining why you cannot take out individual provisions from the law without reducing, if not outright defeating, the ultimate goals of the law.

The two downsides I see to this book are the comic format, which may turn people off, and the simple nature of the explanation. While hitting all the high notes, some people may believe it is impossible to truly present a 2,000 page law adequately in this short of a space and in such simple language.

I would highly recommend this book to all.
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