- Hardcover: 365 pages
- Publisher: Primal Nutrition, Inc.; 1 edition (October 21, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1939563097
- ISBN-13: 978-1939563095
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Primal Prescription: Surviving The "Sick Care" Sinkhole Hardcover – October 21, 2015
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About the Author
Doug McGuff, MD, FAAEM became interested in exercise, diet, and human performance at the age of 15 when he took up weight training to improve his performance in the sport of bicycle motocross. While trading janitorial services for a membership at a Nautilus gym, he stumbled upon Arthur Jones’ Nautilus Training Bulletin No. 2. In 1989, he graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio; he went on to train in emergency medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock, where he served as Chief Resident. From there, Dr. McGuff served as faculty in the Wright State University Emergency Medicine Residency and was a staff emergency physician at Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital. In 1995, Dr. McGuff completed his tour of duty in the Air Force and became a partner in Blue Ridge Emergency Physicians, P.A. in Seneca, South Carolina. In 1997, he realized a lifelong dream when he opened Ultimate Exercise, a personal training studio specializing in state-of-the-art high intensity exercise.
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I think where McGuff fell short was in the same areas where Murphy does for the reasons I mentioned before. Yes I do think that there are problems with healthcare today but am not convinced that going totally private and eliminating all government oversight is the answer. Just like I would never get on a plane again were the FAA to be shut down, I don't think private enterprise does a particularly good job of self regulating in any industry. He does bring up good points on overreaching on the part of the FDA and I think that one in particular needs to be fixed somehow. I also think we as people need certain freedom to choose which type of care, which type of medication (drugs or supplements) etc and he does give food for thought on that subject. All and all while I disagree with quite a bit of this book I do try to maintain an open mind and some of the things that gnawed at me at first I have slowly taken in.
10/31/15: First off I have not read the second part of this book so will edit this review afterward and possibly give it a bump in the rating. That said I have had a hard time getting through the first section written by the co-author economist Murphy. The introduction proclaimed that "this book is not partisan" but I found nothing in the first 7 chapters to indicate that this was true. What I did find was a lot of repeated rants over big government inflicting its "Nanny state" on everyone, the "Ponzi schemes" of Social Security and Medicare" are "bankrupt" and a lot of the use of the word "cronies" to describe those who would disagree with his obvious right wing slant. I kept waiting for anything positive about subjects such as the cost savings to everyone that occurs when of poor people don't need to get basic health care from the ER any longer, or how many other countries with socialized medicine actually deliver it for considerably less than our former system (before Obamacare). But that part is simply not addressed. Instead what I found was a lot of the use of extremely exaggerated examples which were used to try to illustrate the point the author was trying to make, but which to me just tended to overemphasize and distort the truth of the matter.
I am not here to defend the changes to the health insurance system because much of it is unknown, even to PHD economists like Murphy. No doubt there will have to be course corrections along the way for anything this sweeping to be successful. If you tend to lean to the right you will no doubt like this book a lot. I however so far feel a little bit ripped off after reading the intro online where it promised it wasn't partisan and then found nothing about that to be true. I simply don't buy many of Murphy's extreme black and white viewpoints. I do hope the next section will be a bit less about politics and more about what the book promises to deliver.
The major theme of this book combines libertarian worldview and the Primal philosophy: Just as government intervention in free-markets leads to lower standards of living, modern human lifestyles that go against our evolutionary history lead to negative health outcomes.
This book is mainly divided into two parts: (1) The history, politics, and economic reasoning of interventionism in US healthcare, and (2) what individual patients can do to improve and protect themselves within (or outside) of the system. Here is the table of contents to get a good idea of the book contents:
Part I: Understanding US healthcare, up through Obamacare
1. How we got here: a brief history of US healthcare through 2009
2. The deadly FDA
3. The Medicare Ponzi Scheme
4. Perverse Economics of US medicine
Part II: Obamacare, the futility of health redistribution
5. The inner 'logic' of the Affordable Care Act
6. Fatal flaws of the ACA
7. Paving the way for 'single payer'
Part III: Save Yourself
8. Ken Korg battles the beast
9. Lead by your (primal) example
10. Choosing your doctor
11. Getting of your meds
12. Surviving the hospital
13. Medical screening & elective procedures: worth the risk?
Part IV: Freedom is the answer
14. Rolling back big government and big pharma
15: Living healthy and free
Many of the theoretical economic arguments will be familiar to free-market oriented readers, but Dr. Murphy goes through great lengths to interpret statistics from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO - aka: the government) and shows how many of the conclusions are skewed and cherry-picking data. In particular, Chapter 5 - the inner logic - is stream of logical reasoning reminiscent of Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt that demonstrates the necessary existence of various parts of the ACA
The second half can be thought of more as a handbook on how to manage your personal health than anything else. While I cannot personally relate because I am young and rarely require medical services, I know that these chapters are critical to patients who actually want to take control of their personal and financial health. This includes topics in how to find the right (aka free-market, similar health goals) doctor and how to navigate your way through hospital systems.
As Dr. McGuff points out: "If you are concerned about the direction of the country, as you should be, then the single best thing you can do for its future is to make sure your household is healthy." All liberty lovers and those concerned with the best for themselves and their families will benefit from The Primal Prescription because "Whether in markets, human health, or interpersonal relationships, the great news is that we don't have to choose between idealism and pragmatism. Freedom and independence are appealing aesthetically, but they also work."