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Landmark: The Inside Story of America's New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All (Publicaffairs Reports) 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
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ISBN-10: 1586489348
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Everyday Health
“I have been perusing several resources to clarify the changes to health care and the benefits to the American people. The ones that have helped me the most are the April 5, 2010 issue of Time, the May 2010 issue of Money, and a new book written by the staff of the Washington Post: Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All. This book is by far the best resource I have read to date. The table of contents reads like a Frequently Asked Questions list, and it covers every question you could possibly think of related to the new health-care reform.”

About the Author

Contributors from the Washington Post include: National Editor KEVIN MERIDA, Associate Editor STEVEN LUXENBERG, and staff writers CECI CONNOLLY and ALEC MACGILLIS. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Publicaffairs Reports
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586489348
  • ASIN: B004E3XD3U
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,299,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a family physician that has followed the healthcare reform debate closely, dating well back into the Democratic primary season when Hillary and Obama were duking it out, dating even as far back as the failed Bill and Hillary Clinton first attempt during Bill Clinton's presidency. I found Landmark: The Inside Story of America's New Health Care Law to give a much richer historical perspective, and to give a much better analysis of the actual impact that the bill is likely to have, than was available from the fragmented and sensational mainstream media coverage.

The book is a collection of essays written by Washington Post reporters, followed by the actual text of the bill. The essays in the book are far more analytical and informative than what was typically available throughout the somewhat histrionic coverage of Republican and Democratic maneuvering to respectively block or pass the eventual bill. One could have been left with the impression, when it was all over but the shouting, that the resulting bill was weakened to the point of being inconsequential from the point of view of reform, and enormous regarding eventual cost. Read Landmark, and you'll have a different opinion on both those points.

What was useful in the book? The many failed historical efforts to provide some form of national healthcare coverage go back over 100 years, a battle that until this last month stymied many presidents (including Teddy Roosevelt). The historical review alone made the book a worthwhile read for me. Secondly, the authors make a convincing case that, much in contrast to the typical media coverage, this bill represents a deep and broad change in the American approach to healthcare for its citizens, far more so than the Medicare and Medicaid legislation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives the history of the work put into the passing of the new health care bill. Then it goes into explanations of how the new law works and tells the good and bad of each segment. Each writter put their own knowledge and research into their part of the book. It made me look at the new law with a more open and optimistic mind.
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Landmark: The Inside Story of America's New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All (Publicaffairs Reports)

The book is well written and very easy to understand helping to clarify specific portions of the new Health Care Reform Law through the analysis of several Washington Post reporters. What is exceptional is that it contains the law itself so that anyone can read and see EXACTLY what this law does and does not do. With all the hype from so many sides this book and the actual law is a must read to understanding all elements of this reform. It is truly a "Landmark". I highly recommend it. I purchased this book through Amazon.com.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Much of this book is simply a summary of the events surrounding the passage of the health care legislation. There's not much new in the way of "insider" accounts (those books are forthcoming, I'm sure), and what appear to be enlightening passages is simply rehashed conventional wisdom (Rahm Emanuel like to curse, we get it). For people that didn't follow the process as it unfolded over the past year and half, this part of the book should prove interesting. The real utility of the book is its comprehensive summary of what's in the legislation and how it will affect different people.

I do have one major technical issue with formatting of the Kindle edition. The entire book is presented in brief one- or two-sentence paragraphs (much like a newspaper article) with a space between each paragraph. The spaces are very distracting, as if I'm reading a bullet list rather than a cohesive, flowing narrative. It makes for very halting, choppy reading.
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Obama signed this Act into law in March 2010. Nearly a year later with politicians so polarized, it seems like a miracle that he ever did. Republicans did not want any part of health care reform. Meanwhile, Democrats often viewed a public-option as a must.

The first part of the book does a good job reporting the history of this legislative miracle. It culminated soon after Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senatorial seat and broke the Democrats filibuster proof majority. Thereafter, the Democrats pulled the nuclear option with the House approving the Senate bill, and then working out details in a separate budget reconciliation bill.

The preface to the next section clearly outlines the U.S. health care problems. Our former system was broken. Our health care costs are nearly twice as much as everyone else. Among OECD countries, we have by far the largest portion of our population uninsured. Every year, 700,000 Americans file for bankruptcy because of medical bills. And, over 22,000 die because of inadequate access to health care. Among our major trading partners those respective figures are zero and zero. Also, health care costs are growing far faster than the economy. Thus, they have risen from 5.4% of GDP in 1960 to 16.2% in 2007. This trend is not sustainable. While spending so much, our health care outcomes are bad relative to other countries as shown by preventable deaths per 100,000 and infant deaths per 1,000 live births (pg. 67).

The authors clarify complex issues with helpful visual aids. The timeline table (pg. 70) readily illustrates the complex phase-in of this legislation over the 2010-2014 period. The four tiers of coverage ranging from 60% of medical cost (bronze) to 90% (platinum) are well outlined (pg. 78).
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