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Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System
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Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  419 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews

Health care is the largest employer in America, one of the largest perceived drains on the budget of the Federal government, a system with the capacity to bankrupt entire state economies, and one of the areas of personal expenditure that gives individual American citizens most financial anxiety. It matters like almost no other dimension of the government and private sector
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by PublicAffairs (first published January 1st 2014)
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Bonnie Samuel
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone interested in knowing exactly what is in the ACA should read this book. I considered myself fairly well-versed on what the legislation will do, but there is even more to it than I thought. Emanuel does a great job synthesizing a huge bill and making both its benefits and weaknesses understandable. Although not exactly a beach read, the information laid out in this book is important for all health care consumers to know. The ACA is here to stay and will impact all Americans in one way or a ...more
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zeke Emanuel’s book on the American health care system and the Affordable Care Act can be a bit of a bumpy ride, but on the whole this rather breathless tour de force well worth the attention of those interested in the country’s largest, most problematic industry.

Reinventing American Health Care comprises three roughly stitched-together parts, focused respectively on describing the American health care system and the origins of its crazy distortions, the process of creating and passing the Affor
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to better understand the Affordable Healthcare Act, Obamacare. It came to me highly recommended and it did not disappoint. I actually learned what's included in the ACA and it seemed to be spelled out succinctly and clearly. I do healthcare consulting for my job and I can definitely use what I learned in this book to help me explain the ACA to clients and others who want to learn more. It's far from a perfect law and I am extremely disappointed in how it was passed and implement ...more
Jon Berthet
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Changed how I viewed the ACA entirely

This really put an amazing structure on how to think about ACA. This is the perfect book at explaining why the ACA was passed and all the political interest groups behind it. Easy and great read.
Kat Lahr
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the structured analytical approach to breaking down the ACA, its impacts, and very succinctly explaining why. Its informative and should be read by many different audiences, as it is well rounded.
So, it took me about two months to finally get this one finished. This obviously wasn't my first choice when I was ready to curl up with a good book. At least now I have some idea about how all this insurance business works...maybe. ;)
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It has been nearly impossible to get much accurate and easily understandable information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If it isn’t the right trying to demonize it, it’s the left trying to apologize for it. And there are those on far left who constantly opine about how it doesn’t go far enough. It seems the ACA doesn’t make anyone happy.

And yet, it is arguably the most important piece of health care legislation ever enacted. Emanuel is a top health care policy expert who is a professor at the
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone needs health care, yet most Americans feel negative about our health care system because 1) it’s too complex to understand 2) some practices are not at all updated for our current need 3) people spend lots of money in it. In this book, Emanuel writes about the past, present and the future of American Health Care. Specifically he talks in detail on why Obama care is a great step to alleviate problems in American health and why more reform is urgently needed. There are many problems raise ...more
Susannah Champlin
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great overview of the ACA and a quality unpacking of some of the complexities, but it might be a bit dry for people who aren't policy wonks like me. If you're looking for a brief overview of the ACA a better resource would be some policy briefs from Kaiser Family Foundaton but this is a good book if you want historical foundation and a more extensive analysis. I also wouldn't necessarily recommend it on audiobook like how I read it; it would be much better in print copy to have as reference du ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a little overly optimistic about the future of health care, especially toward the end. However, I learned a lot about the Affordable Care Act (aka, ObamaCare) and the history of health care bills in the U.S. government.
satej soman
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
80% solid analysis about the history, current state of American healthcare, the structure of the ACA, and the future of American health care; 20% Obama administration talking points.
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-read
First of all, the listing of this book on Goodreads has the page count wrong. There are 349 pages not 258. That needs to be changed. I found this book very interesting. I didn't know too much about the healthcare industry and this book really explains how health insurance came about, how hospitals and physicians have evolved and why healthcare costs have gone way up. He also explains how the Affordable Care Act (Yes, that is the name not Obamacare), and how it affects people, companies, physicia ...more
Will Mitchell
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reinventing American Healthcare is a very in-depth overview of the US healthcare system, its incentives and interactions, and the contents of the Affordable Care Act. As detailed and data-driven as this book is, I would still call it a stepping stone to being an informed participant in the health care system and related politics today. It's shining points are in its use of data and tables to add rigor alongside well written explanations of complex systems. It does make it all very accessible to ...more
"The Jo"
A fair "outline" that touches upon the major points/titles of the ACA but leaves out the most crucial. This country needs to make the distinction between health care and health insurance. The ACA leans in favor of the health insurance markets with very little control over the expected esclating rates that will certainly ensue. This book targets presenting the ACA in a positive light which it does adequately well by simply comparing a torn system, to one with a bandaid fix. However, it is my hope ...more
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this book is hardly an unbiased party, but he is a knowledgeable one. For that alone, and for an understanding the underlying vision behind the ACA, this book was quite interesting. I was also pleased in the sense that he did at least a decent job at trying to be evenhanded in discussing some of the shortfalls and criticisms, his own and others, and explaining what drove the result.

In one or two places I did find his logic lacking, and found myself disagreeing with him, but overall
Jen Burstedt
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emanuel tells a good history of how we've gotten to the current state of healthcare today, as well as gives a great overview of the Affordable Care Act. Although it could have woven a few more stories throughout the book in order to keep it more interesting the entire way through, I learned a lot and would recommend it to anyone looking to get a good grounding in healthcare today - including changes the ACA has brought in healthcare and Emanuel's predictions for the future.

I also like how he sti
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, accessible history of America's health care system with a sustained, detailed look at the current Affordable Care Act. Regardless of political party, this book is worth reading if you want to understand how the system has been changed, what the changes are supposed to do and how they affect each of us. More importantly, however, is Emanuel's look at all the parts of the ACA not just the insurance exchanges which seemed to take over the public narrative about the law. The last chapter ...more
GA Peach
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I wanted to truly understand what the ACA does and does not include. Since we're turning a page where we don't know where healthcare is truly heading, i wanted to be able to say I know where the law was coming from and what it wanted to accomplish. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to better understand the law without reading the 1000 ish page document. It also explains a lot of the history of the complexity of our medical system and previous reform attempts that I d ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
How the Affordable Care Act will improve our terribly complex, blatantly unjust,outrageously expensive, grossly inefficient, error prone system....
This book is a must read for those who want to understand both what is wrong with American health care and the many things that remain to be done including addressing reform of the ACA's incomplete and imperfect reforms. Especially remarkable is author's relatively straight forward assessment of what his brother, Rahm, did during the political negotia
It's not just the exchanges. There are provisions for greater access, better quality, lower cost, greater accountability, more prevention, and better public health policy.

It's a detailed history of the development of our health care system and previous reform efforts, the story of how the ACA was enacted, a long chapter covering what's in it, and Zeke's predictions. Here are a couple: over 1,000 of 5,000 hospitals will close by 2020, and almost no one will get health coverage through their emplo
Interesting read on the Affordable Care Act and healthcare in general. I learned a lot about how health insurance works and Emanuel speaks to the anticipated changes over the next decade + in health care delivery. I have to admit, though, from a nurse practitioner perspective, it was way too physician-centric. There was no mention of the role of nurse practitioners or even physician assistants in improving access and reducing costs. Furthermore, there is a definitely a bias towards the benefits ...more
Sabrina Monet
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It put together a lot of things I knew but couldn't articulate. People that have been following healthcare will have a working knowledge of what's in this book, but I can see it falling on deaf ears to those that aren't interested. This book is definitely worth reading not only for the breakdown of our healthcare system, but also for his 7 changes that will happen to healthcare over the next two decades.
Ryan Galgon
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The definitive readers companion to ACA. I appreciated the historical analysis of how we got to the current care system and the predictions for the future of health care.

Highly recommended to anyone living in The US as this legislation will have follow on consequences for decades to come.

I'd love to find an implementation of the author's "dashboard" of key metrics for health reform.
Ben Detwiler
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book does a great job of laying out major pieces of the affordable care act and justification behind them. It is a great read for anyone with little to no understanding of the complex interworkings of the U.S. Healthcare system and the future changes we as citizens will ultimately be paying for.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ACA seems to be saving money and helping more people already.... plan to follow predictions to see if really effective...

admire President Obama... believe he will one day be recognized as one of our best and greatest presidents despite all the caustic criticisms of the racists and hidden racists
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is absolutely the best synopsis of American health care, by one of the brightest health policy minds, that I have read. It provides excellent background and bold predictions. While he helped shaped the ACA, it is not a blanket endorsement of the law, but explores its pros and cons. Every American should read this book.
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Comprehensive but accessible description of how we got the health care system we have and how the ACA is addressing the problems of both access and cost growth. Discusses both the major steps forward created by the legislation and its imperfections. An excellent resource for readers who aren't health care experts.
Theodore Kinni
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
It's a good book--clear and frank. It basically reprises all the same arguments we've heard about the benefits of healthcare reform with the addition of a timeline -- unfortunately the big improvements won't start arriving 'til 2020
Michael Guyer
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An informative book that sheds some light on the complicated United States health care system, some of the problems it is currently facing, and how the many provisions (some of which are misunderstood) of the Affordable Care Act will help to alleviate them.
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