Top critical review
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America needs a new prescription for it's approach to health care policy
on May 27, 2007
Arguing that current American health care coverage policies continue growing woefully inadequate, Cohn's book relies on 'hard' statistics culled from the government and private sector itself. Layoffs, cumbersome 'pre-existing' condition rules and a conglomerate of other socioeconomic factors undermined America's ability to enjoy good quality of life.
He also includes sobering stories from and by people whose lives are damaged by lack of (adequate) health care insurance coverage. Their heart-wrenching stories, including from the family whose wife/mother ultimately succeeded in committing suicide just because she was unable to receive coverage and did not want to be a 'financial drain', contrasts starkly with the propaganda being put out by the multi-million dollar companies of smiling happy and secure Americans appearing to not care about much other than romping in fields. Seeing myself reflected in these testimonies, I found the book's 'personal touch' a powerful component because it defuses the lobby's ongoing contention that any healthcare reform would hurt 'ordinary Americans', when obviously it is the insurance industry themselves responsible for our current agony.
So, where are the flaws in this book if it starts out so strongly and advances a topic which is ever-more timely for so many Americans? For how passionately he argues against the current model, Cohn can't seem to provide detailed specifics on just what would be offer up Americans in comparison and how this alternative would work better than what currently exists. I came in on both the personal and political level wanting to like this book, and still agree with it's overall thesis, but feel let down that the author stopped 'prescribing' change just when it was getting to the really good stuff.
Granted, one can only see so far into the future on any one issue, but Cohn did not have to work from scratch on his pet issue. Because universal health care plans already exist in Europe, have gone on line in some American states, and vagueness dooms any proposed public policy to defeat, he inadvertently seals off the fate of his case after having argued for it. Having given the impression that he sincerely does believe in and want health care reform, I found this contradictory action troubling, Cohn already has me and other people on board; he just needs to revise this book to convince others that healthcare must be a fundamental right.
America's ever-present health care crisis makes this a still-necessary read for every one