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Book Review: Brave New World of Healthcare

by amy on 02/05/2014

Brave_New_World_of_HealthcareOn a cold, snow day what better book to curl up with than, Richard Lamm’s “Brave New World of Healthcare.”  While it may not have been your first choice, it has been on my “Must Read” list for a while.

The gist of the book is how medical costs are fast out-pacing our government’s ability to pay for them, as well as the impact of medical costs on the insurance companies.  There are two main concepts of the book.  The first is the government’s focus on medicine and patient care; the second,  public policy focusing on the health of the country and what’s best for the majority of population.

I especially like his statement:

“In the United States we never ask, how do we spend our resources to achieve the most health?  The results are tragic: too much spent on mainstream or allopathic medicine and too little spent on public health, too much spent on acute diseases and too little on chronic disease, too much on rescue medicine and not enough on preventive medicine, and too many specialist and too few primary physicians.  We need a larger vision of health than the leaders of healthcare have been giving us.”  (page 42)

What I don’t like about the book is that Lamm still believes that only WesternEQN_Man Medicine can provide solutions for reducing obesity, smoking cessation programs and bridging the difference between the rich and lower income health opportunities.  He doesn’t consider a more wholistic approach to all of these.

I would have liked to have read about Lamm’s concerns about food access, food quality and other issues that affect the poor.  These need to be addressed if we want to emphasize preventive health.

Lamm is very concise in his concerns about paying for a broken health system.  Yet, he doesn’t address the steps to make our population healthy; only what to do once it’s broken.  This is similar to buying an expensive car and wondering why it doesn’t run well on cheap gas.

Overall, I’m glad I chose this book to read on a snowy day.  That way, I could give it the attention it deserves.

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