Friday, December 30, 2016

Review of "Uproot U. S. Healthcare," by Deane Waldman M. D.

Review of
Uproot U. S. Healthcare, by Deane Waldman M. D. ISBN 9780982726808

Three out of five stars
 The problem with this book is that the intelligent and knowledgeable reader knows immediately from the length of 142 pages that it cannot possibly contain all it proposes to do. Namely, describe the problems with the U. S. health care system and then explain how it can be fixed. This is not to say that the author does not make many valid points about the problems with health care, from the medical malpractice issues based on unrealistic expectations to criticism of some of the proposed solutions.
 There are legitimate points made regarding regulations, yet no real understanding and recognition that health care is a field where regulations are necessary. Specifically regarding what drugs are dispensed and how treatments are managed. Furthermore, there is the reality that for nearly every regulation, there is a company or organization that profits from its existence.
 With over 30 years of practicing medicine behind him, the author knows a great deal about how medical care is dispensed. Yet, the prime component of his “cure” is unrealistic. He advocates conducting a national plebiscite (vote) on what kind of health care is desired. In his words:

“Following the plebiscite, the Federal government will be tasked with creating a new healthcare system based on the principles we agreed to in the plebiscite.” 

Given what would be at stake for so many wealthy players, this would be the most contentious election ever held in the U. S.
 The last page contains what the author calls “The Cure,” with eight bullet points. All are unrealistic, based on the first one:

“A public that understands why healthcare does not work.” 

Even people that are intelligent and have followed the political health care debate for some time do not know all the reasons why it does not work. Any attempt to bring the public up to speed in order to make informed decisions about health care  for all is in the area of dreamland. The recent presidential election in the United States is all the proof one needs to know that.

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