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The Washington Post ’s must-read guide to the health care overhaul What now? Despite the rancorous, divisive, year-long debate in Washington, many Americans still don’t understand what the historic overhaul of the health care system will—or won’t—mean. In Landmark, the national reporting staff of The Washington Post pierces through the confusion, examining the new law’ The Washington Post ’s must-read guide to the health care overhaul What now? Despite the rancorous, divisive, year-long debate in Washington, many Americans still don’t understand what the historic overhaul of the health care system will—or won’t—mean. In Landmark, the national reporting staff of The Washington Post pierces through the confusion, examining the new law’s likely impact on us all: our families, doctors, hospitals, health care providers, insurers, and other parts of a health care system that has grown to occupy one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Landmark’s behind-the-scenes narrative reveals how just how close the law came to defeat, as well as the compromises and deals that President Obama and his Democratic majority in Congress made in achieving what has eluded their predecessors for the past seventy-five years: A legislative package that expands and transforms American health care coverage. Landmark is an invaluable resource for anyone eager to understand the changes coming our way.


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The Washington Post ’s must-read guide to the health care overhaul What now? Despite the rancorous, divisive, year-long debate in Washington, many Americans still don’t understand what the historic overhaul of the health care system will—or won’t—mean. In Landmark, the national reporting staff of The Washington Post pierces through the confusion, examining the new law’ The Washington Post ’s must-read guide to the health care overhaul What now? Despite the rancorous, divisive, year-long debate in Washington, many Americans still don’t understand what the historic overhaul of the health care system will—or won’t—mean. In Landmark, the national reporting staff of The Washington Post pierces through the confusion, examining the new law’s likely impact on us all: our families, doctors, hospitals, health care providers, insurers, and other parts of a health care system that has grown to occupy one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Landmark’s behind-the-scenes narrative reveals how just how close the law came to defeat, as well as the compromises and deals that President Obama and his Democratic majority in Congress made in achieving what has eluded their predecessors for the past seventy-five years: A legislative package that expands and transforms American health care coverage. Landmark is an invaluable resource for anyone eager to understand the changes coming our way.

30 review for Landmark: The Inside Story of America's New Health-Care Law-The Affordable Care Act-and What It Means for Us All

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kathrynn

    Had a detailed review of this, but when I went to save it I received the dreaded 504 error and the review was gone. So disheartening. Here goes another attempt. Found Landmark easy to read and nicely laid out. It is divided into three parts: Part I - How We Got There by Ceci Connolly Presented a brief history of prior attempts to pass a health care reform, and what happened in both the House and Senate during the Barack Obama administration. Found this part informative as I only read or heard bits Had a detailed review of this, but when I went to save it I received the dreaded 504 error and the review was gone. So disheartening. Here goes another attempt. Found Landmark easy to read and nicely laid out. It is divided into three parts: Part I - How We Got There by Ceci Connolly Presented a brief history of prior attempts to pass a health care reform, and what happened in both the House and Senate during the Barack Obama administration. Found this part informative as I only read or heard bits and pieces at the time and reading this section helped fill in some of the blanks. This part spent a lot of time on Nancy Pelosi and how she fought for women's right to choose and how churches wanted to use the Bill as a way to strip those rights. Also, explained what happened in the Senate and how those last votes came to be. A few paragraphs on Joseph Lieberman and his rationale for holding out. I'm still scratching my head on that one, though. This section is only 62 pages long, so very brief. Part II - What It Means for Us All by Alec MacGillis, David Brown, Howard Gleckman, Amy Goldstein, David S. Hilzenrath, Lori Montgomery, and Shailagh Murray (whew!) This part contained graphs and was very well laid out. It explained what changes were coming, by timeperiod, and what that could mean to us. It explained how this $538 billion dollar reform would be funded and it settled the rumors that the media and other politicians threw around that were completely untrue. I was relieved to read this part and learn more about the Law. A great deal of the pertinent details have not been ironed out, yet. And the bulk of the Law will not go into effect until 2014. For the most part, what I got out of the book was the new Law will aim more for prevention than treatment. An analogy used in the book was that the health insurance industry would run more like the electric companies. The more people that participate the lower the rates can be and they will be governed and watched by the government. Here's a rundown: July 1, 2010, tanning salons will pay an additional 10% tax. Also in 2010: - Adult children can stay on their parent's health plans until age 26. - Insurance companies will be banned from placing lifetime limits on coverage, children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied, and dropping coverage when someone gets sick cannot be done unless blatant fraud can be proven. Interesting that insurance companies will be punished by not being allowed to participate in the upcoming "Exchanges" if they push limits, raise rates unfairly, etc while all this is coming together. In 2011: - Employers will be required to disclose the value of health benefits on W-2 forms. - Annual fee will be imposed on drug companies (the big ones agreed to it) - Chain restaurants (of 20 or more) and vending machine food must disclose nutritional info. (It's about time!) In 2013: - Threshold for claiming a medical deduction will increase from 7.5% to 10%. - 2.9% excise tax will be imposed for medical devices (I was curious if this would include spas?) In 2014: The American Health Benefit Exchange (Exchanges) will go into effect. This is BIG, and the book gives a lot of great information on what and how. Who will get a subsidy (there's a chart based on income and members in the family). And the law states that if you have private insurance or are in a plan you like with your employer you do not have to participate in the Exchange. Also exempt are American Indians (who have their own plan and got a much needed increase with this Law), Veterans, and military personnel using their system. Illegal immigrants will not be allowed into the Exchanges. And in order to receive aid, must present tax form, no longer will a pay stub suffice. Pregnant illegal immigrants exempt. The Exchanges will have different tiers depending on the coverage you can afford: Bronze tier is the lowest and covers 60% of medical expenses. Not clear if many health insurance companies will offer this tier. Silver tier has 70% coverage and must be offered. Gold tier has 80% coverage and must be offered. Platinum tier has 90% coverage. There is also a plan for young people until they turn 30 that they may be able to purchase for about $100 per month. If you are single and earn more than $43,320 you will not be eligible for any subsidy. If you are in a family of four (doesn't say married), you will not be eligible for a subsidy if you earn more than $88,200. Also, a biggie is health companies will be required to cover preventive care including vaccines without meeting a deductible or co-pay. No more annual or lifetime health benefit restrictions. Businesses can no longer require a 90 day waiting period before you are eligible for the company plan. There will NOT be criminal prosecution or property liens for failure to have health insurance. There will be fines that will be added to your tax return. There will not be "death panels." The theory is more people will buy insurance, keeping rates down and helping out the government, which has been paying a lot of tax dollars on uninsured. There are a lot of changes to Medicare and Medicaid that are also outlined in the book. I was shocked to see what some states considered (income wise) before someone can use Medicaid, $7,500 per year!! While other states were so upset with the Medicaid system, they have their own and if they want to continue using it, they can. States that should be concerned the most are the ones (like Texas) that give the bare bones in Medicaid. Others who have been paying more will have an easier time adjusting. Businesses will be able to reward employees for good health in bonuses or other methods. They cannot fine employees for bad health. Part III - The Law This is a copy of the actual law. The print is fairly small, but readable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    edwina

    The passions and pain of the Vietnam War have subsided to a degree to which we are now able to look at the broader achievements of the Johnson administration,” said playwright Robert Schenkkan, whose Broadway show about the president, “All the Way,” is playing to packed houses.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I really liked this book and I will tell you why. It answered a ton of questions for me about how this "landmark" legislation is intended to work and how it may, or may not, affect me. The writing is very accessible although a basic understanding of insurance policy concepts such as cost sharing, deductibles, etc will be helpful as this understanding is assumed. The book itself focuses on explaining the details of the plan itself such as the individual mandate, insurance exchanges, etc. The appr I really liked this book and I will tell you why. It answered a ton of questions for me about how this "landmark" legislation is intended to work and how it may, or may not, affect me. The writing is very accessible although a basic understanding of insurance policy concepts such as cost sharing, deductibles, etc will be helpful as this understanding is assumed. The book itself focuses on explaining the details of the plan itself such as the individual mandate, insurance exchanges, etc. The approach is thorough without being overwhelming and helpful graphs accompany many chapters to visually corral the information. There is also an attempt to provide background and context to help explain why a high number of uninsured is a problem as well as a history of how previous administrations have attempted to address the problem. I felt that the tone of this book was informational and balanced in it's approach. It does a good job of providing perspective from proponents and skeptics when discussing whether the provisions in the new plan will be effective and why certain approaches were included or not. However, since it is written by staff from The Washington Post I feel that their generally left leaning bias is subtly represented in word choice and perspective. This isn't much a problem, just something to be aware of regardless of your own political leanings. The new health care law is broad and sweeping in it's intent. This book does a very good job of bringing it into the practical realm of understanding for the average american. I wish there were more books like this that concisely explain and summarize broad policy issues. I kept up with the health care debate through newspapers and broadcast news but this book really brought all the pieces together into one comprehensible picture. I highly recommend this to every adult american since the new law will most likely affect each of us specifically in a real and personal manner and this book provides the facts in a mostly non-political way. In other words, don't rely on pundits and candidates to inform your understanding - get your own facts!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Much of this book is written in that namby-pamby journalistic style - "many economists believe..." "many physicians think..." - and remains resolutely unbiased and nonideological, as you would expect from the WaPo. Questions like why America's healthcare system is so radically different from others around the world to begin with go mostly unanswered (and unasked) - which is mostly fair, as that isn't intended to be the book's focus. Issues like why the public option was perceived to be such poli Much of this book is written in that namby-pamby journalistic style - "many economists believe..." "many physicians think..." - and remains resolutely unbiased and nonideological, as you would expect from the WaPo. Questions like why America's healthcare system is so radically different from others around the world to begin with go mostly unanswered (and unasked) - which is mostly fair, as that isn't intended to be the book's focus. Issues like why the public option was perceived to be such political poison are never addressed. The question of why healthcare in America is so much costlier than in other developed nations is touched on only briefly. If one were wondering why Catholic bishops have such an outsized effect on the healthcare debate and policymaking, one would need to seek other sources. (We ought to spend more time, as Americans, wondering why things are the way they are; these things are not preordained, and they don't happen at random, in a vacuum.) Dan Balz's introduction , an overview of reform attempts over the last century, is adequate if short. Ceci Connolly's summary of how the legislation got passed - the obstacles, the hurdles, the shouting matches, the stasis, the wavering, the arm-twisting, the sabotages, the caving, the unlikely triumph - is paint-by-numbers. The bulk of the book is chapters summarizing different aspects of the legislation. These are helpful and informative.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    First of all, the contents of this book aren't actually 497 pages long. I guess the hardcopy version must have the full text of the act in it or something, but I read the Kindle version in a few days. I provides an excellent overview of the key battles that occurred in the crafting and enacting of the law, as well as the highlights of the law itself, all in a surprisingly compact package. I think this book is important for anyone to reach now, in these times when the actual implementation of the First of all, the contents of this book aren't actually 497 pages long. I guess the hardcopy version must have the full text of the act in it or something, but I read the Kindle version in a few days. I provides an excellent overview of the key battles that occurred in the crafting and enacting of the law, as well as the highlights of the law itself, all in a surprisingly compact package. I think this book is important for anyone to reach now, in these times when the actual implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is so prominent in the news.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary Alice

    A good guide to the new health reform law.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    First and foremost, while “Landmark” is over 250 pages, not all of it will be of interest to all audiences. If you’re not sure if you want to commit to reading 250 pages about the Affordable Care Act, that might be attractive, as the core of the book is succinct and very accessible. On the other hand, if you’ve been closely following the progress of the law and are looking for an in-depth exploration of its nuances, you may be left wanting more. Specifically, the book is divided up into three ver First and foremost, while “Landmark” is over 250 pages, not all of it will be of interest to all audiences. If you’re not sure if you want to commit to reading 250 pages about the Affordable Care Act, that might be attractive, as the core of the book is succinct and very accessible. On the other hand, if you’ve been closely following the progress of the law and are looking for an in-depth exploration of its nuances, you may be left wanting more. Specifically, the book is divided up into three very distinct parts. The first 62 pages provide a history of efforts to pass healthcare reform, concluding with a summary of what it took to get the ACA passed in 2010. The next 132 pages discuss the what the bill does and does not do, how it’s paid for, and how it will impact different people. The last 66 pages are a summary of the law and the reconciliation act prepared by the government. It is the second section that most people will be buying this book for. As a political moderate, I tend to be very sensitive to partisan rhetoric or bias. And that can be difficult to avoid when covering a politically charged topic. Nonetheless, the Washington Post did a remarkable job providing a reasonably objective and balanced view. Most of the chapters are provided without editorial. Political rhetoric from both sides of the aisle is acknowledged, then addressed based on what the actual law states. Blatant myths are debunked, while valid promises and criticisms are both evaluated. I suspect most people will walk away from this book concerned about some aspects of the law, excited about others, and surprised on any number of points. If you’re like me, you’ll keep the book on hand as a reference so you can clarify the many misconceptions perpetuated by partisan friends. That said, there are some disappointments in the book. The biggest, to me, is that while it provides a condensed summary of the law itself, the primary section doesn’t cross-reference it. Ideally, each point in the book would have cross-referenced to that summary as a means of citing claims, indexing content, and making it easy for readers to dive into the details for areas that were of particular interest. Positively, the index does cover the summary of the law. The second issue is not a fault of the book, but of the fact that it was published shortly after the law passed in 2010. Since then, a lot has changed. There are quite a few areas of the law that are ambiguous, and the book correctly notes that the final implementation will be largely dependent on how federal officials will translate the law into specific regulations. Further, aspects of the summary have been invalidated by the Supreme Court decision to allow states to opt-out of Medicaid expansion. Ideally, I’d love to see The Washington Post publish a second edition of the book with updates based on how the law has actually been implemented. Despite those two considerations, this remains a coherent and well-structured summary of the law, and a valuable reference for people eager to cut through the partisan shouting match.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jared Shipley

    Whether you are in favor of America’s new health care law or not, it's coming, and already taking affect in some regards. This is one of the most historic pieces of domestic legislation America has ever had, and it affects every citizen, so every citizen needs to read it. The book begins with a short history of how health care was handled, or lack thereof, by almost every president of the 20th century. It began with Teddy Roosevelt, after his 2 terms as a Republican president, who first proposed Whether you are in favor of America’s new health care law or not, it's coming, and already taking affect in some regards. This is one of the most historic pieces of domestic legislation America has ever had, and it affects every citizen, so every citizen needs to read it. The book begins with a short history of how health care was handled, or lack thereof, by almost every president of the 20th century. It began with Teddy Roosevelt, after his 2 terms as a Republican president, who first proposed the idea while running for office again in 1912 as a Progressive candidate. The first part is a narrative telling of the Democrat's pragmatic journey to move the current bill through congress, which is a story worthy of its own book. The hotly contested debates filled with rhetoric and scare tactics from both the left and the right, the back room deals, compromises, and political rangling made this the single most important political issue of 2009. From the failed initiatives of the Clinton administration, to the campaign with then-Senator Obama’s initial fumbling on the issue as a candidate for president, to the current bill finally being signed into law on March 23rd, 2010. This story will go down as one of the most important in the history of American government. The second part outlines the provisions of the bill, starting with the most pertinent, the expansion of health care to 95% of the population, the state exchanges, and most controversially, the mandate. The facts are presented in a simple, and for the most part, easy to understand way. Charts and timelines are presented to show how and when the provisions of the bill will be enacted. The tactical accusations of opponents are set straight (such as Sarah Palin’s “death panels”). However, the book never presents the bill as complete or perfect. It gives every disclosure for the many risks involved, mostly the fiscal ones. For example, the CBO reported that the bill would ultimately reduce the national deficit by 1 trillion dollars over the next 20 years, a point vigorously repeated by proponents of the bill. However, the CBO also projected that at the depth the national debt will be 20 years from now, the 1 trillion saved by the bill will not have significant effect in reducing it. And the final section prints the official congressional summary of the bill for anyone interested in reading the primary language. Most of the specifics are still way over my head, but this book at least provides a general understanding of what is to come, and will act as a great reference as we get closer to the law's full implementation in 2014. I ardently suggest everybody, EVERYBODY, read it. This is important. This is your life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Don

    This is a balanced introduction to "the first comprehensive health-care overhaul in the history of the United States". I picked this book up from the library because I am working toward a Masters in Health Information Management. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is going to significantly alter the way my industry operates. I wanted to understand better the goals and policies behind this transition. The book did not disappoint. Three sections cover the story of the bill's pa This is a balanced introduction to "the first comprehensive health-care overhaul in the history of the United States". I picked this book up from the library because I am working toward a Masters in Health Information Management. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is going to significantly alter the way my industry operates. I wanted to understand better the goals and policies behind this transition. The book did not disappoint. Three sections cover the story of the bill's passage, the practical implications of the bill, and a summary of the bill itself. The first section is a fascinating peek into the political maneuvering and strategy it took to get the bill passed. I remember the headlines a bit from 2010. Here you get more of the drama through anecdotes. The second section was the most useful to me. As one of the "young invincibles" that has thus far declined to purchase health insurance after dropping off the parents' plan, I appreciated the discussion of the costs of caring for the uninsured. The goal of universal coverage, to my mind, justifies the individual mandate as a tax (as Justice Roberts recently dubbed it). I also welcome the shift to a population health paradigm in thinking about how providers get paid. We should be paying doctors to keep us healthy. Currently we pay them to give us services when we are sick. Promoting preventive care for everyone is a big part of this. Will it save us money in the long run? That's the big question. Converting to electronic records reduces a lot of redundancy in records. Steering patients away from emergency departments and inpatient stays toward more regular office visits is another way to reduce costs. As the book mentions, however, there are other factors to consider. I skipped the third section because I'm not a lawyer. Reading the law itself is neither interesting nor useful to me. Overall, this book left me with a clearer, more positive understanding of the bill's intended effects on healthcare in America. I certainly have some issues with the way Secretary Sebelius has chosen to implement the preventive care mandate, but this book was printed before that discussion began. I would recommend it to anyone interested in public policy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

    Having been fed up, frustrated, and extremely angry many times at the state of health care in this country, I whole-heartedly cheered the attempts by Democrats to enact some kind of change for our system. Change is obviously needed -- we spend nearly 3 times what other industrialized countries spend (in terms of both dollars and as a percentage of GDP), yet our health care ranks barely in the mediocre range by almost any form of measurement imaginable. So, what are we getting that those other co Having been fed up, frustrated, and extremely angry many times at the state of health care in this country, I whole-heartedly cheered the attempts by Democrats to enact some kind of change for our system. Change is obviously needed -- we spend nearly 3 times what other industrialized countries spend (in terms of both dollars and as a percentage of GDP), yet our health care ranks barely in the mediocre range by almost any form of measurement imaginable. So, what are we getting that those other countries don't for all the extra money we spend? Among other things we get: Less choice in selecting the plans that will work for us. High risks (and the resultant fear) of being denied coverage simply for being poor or sick. High risks of bankruptcy or financial destitution simply because of the illness of a family member, especially the bread winner. 30% of our population (including millions of children) who have no health care coverage. Clearly, we could do better as a nation. Even as I welcomed attempts to improve, if not fix, our system, I felt extreme disgust at the obstructionism of the Republicans who were obviously united in only one goal: to score political points by causing the failure of any bill proposed or endorsed by President Obama. What we got as a result of all the obstructionism, political maneuvering, favor swapping, and dedicated hard work by some truly heroic individuals is what we ended up with. There is no doubt that this bill could have been so much better if the divisiveness wasn't so strong or if corporations didn't hold such influence over our elected leaders. So, the book is a good summary of what changes are in store for individuals (whether sick or well, young or old), families, employees, employers, states, doctors, hospitals, government administrators, and every other agency or individual that deals with health care issues. It made me realize how complex this issue is and how much simpler things could be if the overriding goal of health care policy in this country was the actual health of the citizenry rather than the profits of the associated corporations. But, at least we proved that change can happen. Improvement will hopefully follow.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    I don't know if many authors hope their book will be 'convenient', but that's precisely what this book is. Out of personal and professional interest I followed health reform very closely and arguably didn't need this book but, as versions of the bill changed so often it became hard to keep track of what was shifting in and out and, turns out, there were a few elements I missed. Backing up a moment, the bill passed and no matter where one places oneself politically, I think it is now no longer acc I don't know if many authors hope their book will be 'convenient', but that's precisely what this book is. Out of personal and professional interest I followed health reform very closely and arguably didn't need this book but, as versions of the bill changed so often it became hard to keep track of what was shifting in and out and, turns out, there were a few elements I missed. Backing up a moment, the bill passed and no matter where one places oneself politically, I think it is now no longer acceptable for any elected official to use any version of the phrase, "a bill no one has read." the bill passed. read it. I read it. Lots of other people have. If you are an elected official it affects your constituents. If you find it too complicated; keep educating yourself until you do understand it. Again, you have constituents. If you're an elected official, I think we can all agree you should take it upon yourself to familiarize yourself with the bill and the programs affected by the bill. This book is a good place to start. That said, if you're going to read one book-length summary of a piece of legislation, make it this book. Simple writing. Good use of tables and graphs making it even easier to understand. Also, nice touch with the entirety of the bill printed at the back. I find it easier to flip through the pages than to scroll through a .pdf when I need to check on something.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Olsen

    This book contains the history of the attempts to implement national health care, it's numerous failures and it's finally passing. It also includes the actual changes in the status quo health care law. These changes to the law amount to the whole of about 60 pages. While the bill in itself was 1,000 plus. It also says how it will affect usince implemented. Both the good and the bad. The majority of the law is noncontroversial. Updating, Medicaid and healthcare fraud laws, increasing funding for t This book contains the history of the attempts to implement national health care, it's numerous failures and it's finally passing. It also includes the actual changes in the status quo health care law. These changes to the law amount to the whole of about 60 pages. While the bill in itself was 1,000 plus. It also says how it will affect usince implemented. Both the good and the bad. The majority of the law is noncontroversial. Updating, Medicaid and healthcare fraud laws, increasing funding for the training of healthcare workers and providing incentives for people who are willing to work in poverty stricken areas. This book is well written and clear with it's intent to disseminate information good or bad, about the health care law. Because this is an information laden book the first part with the history leading up to it and the explanation of the law itself is easy to read. Though when the healthcare law changes are outlined you get to see how dull writing laws can be. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in accurate information about the new health care law currently going into effect. It will clear up misunderstandings and help you understand its shortfalls and its benefits. It mainly gave me peace of mind, because it allowed me to know what to expect in the near future and cut through the often dense fog of news coverage that was either this law could do no wrong or that it can't do anything right.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    I think the information contained in the book is valuable, but the topic doesn't lend itself to an interesting presentation. The Health Care Law, or ObamaCare as it's refered to in many circles, is a huge bill with many confusing provisions. Claims and counterclaims have been made by Democrats and Republicans, so it's hard to know what the truth is. Even many Democrats who voted for the bill aren't "selling" the benefits to the public, and one poll I've seen indicates that over half of the Repub I think the information contained in the book is valuable, but the topic doesn't lend itself to an interesting presentation. The Health Care Law, or ObamaCare as it's refered to in many circles, is a huge bill with many confusing provisions. Claims and counterclaims have been made by Democrats and Republicans, so it's hard to know what the truth is. Even many Democrats who voted for the bill aren't "selling" the benefits to the public, and one poll I've seen indicates that over half of the Republicans 57% either believe or are not sure that health care reform is a diabolical government plot to create death panels. So this book is the first and only independent comprehensive review of the bill, how it was passed, and what provisions it contains. Unfortunately, it by nature comes across as very dry material. Knowing how laws are written, and the legalese they contain, makes reading them a nightmare. Unfortunately, parts of this book almost go to that level of detail. Also, the complexity of the law, and the way it will be phased in, with some details still unclear, make things confusing. Nonetheless, it's the only definitive attempt at making things clear, and the book does manage to accomplish that in several areas. But a word of caution, if this isn't of much interest to you, you'll have a tough time getting through it all.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

    This book was assembled from the reporting of the leading reporters at the Washington Post that covered the health care reform debate. It offers a fascinating look at the intense deal-making that went in within the House and Senate over a two year period leading up to the vote. To get the bill signed into law, Democratic leaders had to make countless sacrifices and compromises and I wish that some of those were fleshed out a little more. For example, moderate "Blue Dog" democrats insisted on some This book was assembled from the reporting of the leading reporters at the Washington Post that covered the health care reform debate. It offers a fascinating look at the intense deal-making that went in within the House and Senate over a two year period leading up to the vote. To get the bill signed into law, Democratic leaders had to make countless sacrifices and compromises and I wish that some of those were fleshed out a little more. For example, moderate "Blue Dog" democrats insisted on some special earmarks that would benefit hospitals in their communities. Many hospitals were opposed to parts of the bill because of concerns about reimbursement. So this was a signficant concession. The majority of the context comes from Ceci Connolly, who was the main health care reporter for most of the fight. Ceci has since left the Post but this is a great contribution to understanding this issue. My main complaints: because the book was rushed into print, there are no photos or charts or anything to help tell the story. Also, many portions of the backroom talks are glossed over. Finally, much of the book is actually padding, since the team included the entire text of the health care bill as an appendix at the back of the book. Not useful.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    A detailed, organized examination of "Obamacare." The book has three sections. The first is devoted to the political history of health care, outlining the struggles of previous administrations and congress members in reforming our impaired system. This research continues up to Stupak's defiance, Pelosi's compromises, and Emanuel's strategy to get this legislation through the Senate. The second part focuses on the new policies and regulations set by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A detailed, organized examination of "Obamacare." The book has three sections. The first is devoted to the political history of health care, outlining the struggles of previous administrations and congress members in reforming our impaired system. This research continues up to Stupak's defiance, Pelosi's compromises, and Emanuel's strategy to get this legislation through the Senate. The second part focuses on the new policies and regulations set by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Chapters focus on different aspects such as: the effects the law will have on insurance providers, explaining health care exchanges and its qualifications, the extension and improvements on Medicare, etc. Lastly, the third part is an attachment of the legislation. Overall, this book offers a balanced view on how the new law will affect everyone. There were occasions in which the authors provided possible complications with several provisions. That was helpful, but I was not keen on the redundancy. Perhaps some points were repeated in order to refresh the reader's mind -- still, it felt a bit overwhelming to me. I would have also liked for the statistics to be presented in a more rudimentary fashion. To those of us with limited attention on numbers, the statistics will be confusing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Landon

    I'm currently working on a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration, because of this I am very interested in the medical industry, and where is it headed. The Healthcare Bill is very complex, and very confusing, very few people fully understand it, and all in contains. Sadly enough, some of the people who should understand and no the new law (those studying Healthcare Administration) don't even fully understand it. I wanted to understand it better, so I read this, and now I do. "Landmark" I'm currently working on a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration, because of this I am very interested in the medical industry, and where is it headed. The Healthcare Bill is very complex, and very confusing, very few people fully understand it, and all in contains. Sadly enough, some of the people who should understand and no the new law (those studying Healthcare Administration) don't even fully understand it. I wanted to understand it better, so I read this, and now I do. "Landmark" is written very clearly, and does a good job of not just telling us what the new law does, but explaining it, and also explaining what it means for the lives of every american, no mater what their situation, whither they're rich or poor, currently insured, covered by Medicare or Medicaid, or currently uninsured. While the law is fully explained, I felt that it was written with a slight bias towards the law, while all of its good attributes were pointed out and explained, many of the bad ones were NOT throughly explained. Also, while the book did say that things might not work out as planned in the bill, it never really went into what would happen if the law did not work as smoothly as planned.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Once again, I find myself wishing that Good Reads let us award half stars. I appreciated "Landmark" for what it is: a quick, easy to read summary of the health care reform bill of 2010. It's quick, a very concise account of the politics and the policy, and is generally easy to follow. However, it is SO concerned with being absolutely objective that I was left to wonder "so what" quite frequently. I didn't want a partisan account of health care reform, which is why I picked up "Landmark," but I wa Once again, I find myself wishing that Good Reads let us award half stars. I appreciated "Landmark" for what it is: a quick, easy to read summary of the health care reform bill of 2010. It's quick, a very concise account of the politics and the policy, and is generally easy to follow. However, it is SO concerned with being absolutely objective that I was left to wonder "so what" quite frequently. I didn't want a partisan account of health care reform, which is why I picked up "Landmark," but I was left wishing there was a bit more depth to the explanations. While it's nice to know that exchanges might be difficult to run, I wasn't sure exactly why that might be the case or what factors would contribute to that. So, if you're interested in rattling off loads of facts about the bill this is your book. If you want a more in-depth analysis of the bill and its potential results, I suggest you look elsewhere. Or, maybe, read this and some hyper partisan book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nousha

    Great read! I think the authors tried their best to stay as neutral as possible, but I did feel as if they were a LITTLE skewed to the pro side. If you want an explanation of how ACA affects different people (from patients to employers to physicians and more), then this is a great book. It's broken up into three sections: a policy/lobbying section that illustrates how the law even passed (very House of Cards-esque and definitely recommend, though you don't need to read it to understand the law), Great read! I think the authors tried their best to stay as neutral as possible, but I did feel as if they were a LITTLE skewed to the pro side. If you want an explanation of how ACA affects different people (from patients to employers to physicians and more), then this is a great book. It's broken up into three sections: a policy/lobbying section that illustrates how the law even passed (very House of Cards-esque and definitely recommend, though you don't need to read it to understand the law), a section devoted to how the law affects people, and finally, ACA itself. The great thing about the second section is that everything is broken down into chapters, so you can pick and choose which sections to read. If you can though, I would recommend reading all of it. It's the closest you're going to get to a neutral and informative explanation. I feel a lot more knowledgeable of ACA now, and also way more well-versed in how the healthcare system works.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Blake Charlton

    an interesting collection of analytic pieces and a copy of the law in question. some of the articles stand out as fresh: the description of the republican origin of the idea of universal healthcare was esp interesting. many of the other articles provided a clearer picture of the already published material on how the bill became a law. a large portion of the book focus on how the democrats succeed in getting the law passed, which is bound to rub opponents the wrong way. but on the whole, a fairly an interesting collection of analytic pieces and a copy of the law in question. some of the articles stand out as fresh: the description of the republican origin of the idea of universal healthcare was esp interesting. many of the other articles provided a clearer picture of the already published material on how the bill became a law. a large portion of the book focus on how the democrats succeed in getting the law passed, which is bound to rub opponents the wrong way. but on the whole, a fairly even collection. i'd recommend this strongly to those who wish to become an expert on the subject; however, the inclusion of the laws language makes the collection longer and more expensive, therefore becoming harder sell to the reader who wants to become a well informed voter.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Since this is the iron fist that we now have to live under, I thought I'd mention this book again. I was required to read it for school. It is an easy read. And in case anyone is worried about right wing or left wing bias, it was written by allegedly non-partisan individuals. Believe that or not, but I think it was pretty neutral in its presentation. It explains the history of health care in America and how we got ourselves into the mess in which we currently find ourselves. Then it explains the Since this is the iron fist that we now have to live under, I thought I'd mention this book again. I was required to read it for school. It is an easy read. And in case anyone is worried about right wing or left wing bias, it was written by allegedly non-partisan individuals. Believe that or not, but I think it was pretty neutral in its presentation. It explains the history of health care in America and how we got ourselves into the mess in which we currently find ourselves. Then it explains the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) piece by piece. So if you have any aspirations to truly understand what has just happened to us, read it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Technically, I didn't quite finish, and listened to the final chapters of part 2 at double speed. (Doubling Pam Ward's almost saccharine voice seemed to improve my enjoyment.) The staff of the Post did only a fair job of masking their cheer leading for the Obama administration. Now, a few years hence with the benefit of the intervening history, their protective language almost gives rise to smiles. I say almost, as there still seems no comprehensive means whereby to unwind the worst ravages of O Technically, I didn't quite finish, and listened to the final chapters of part 2 at double speed. (Doubling Pam Ward's almost saccharine voice seemed to improve my enjoyment.) The staff of the Post did only a fair job of masking their cheer leading for the Obama administration. Now, a few years hence with the benefit of the intervening history, their protective language almost gives rise to smiles. I say almost, as there still seems no comprehensive means whereby to unwind the worst ravages of Obamacare that will not further fracture the body politic without fundamental changes in how the public views the limitations of its federal behemoth. I hope my grandchildren are smarter.

  22. 4 out of 5

    loafingcactus

    A good basic overview of the American Care Act in three steps: First, the story of how the law was passed (if you aren't celebrating, skip this part, it is not very informative and will just annoy you). Next, a very readable overview of what the law does and how it may play out (this is already slightly out of date). Last, the law re-written in simple English (each section is referenced so you can go to the Internet and read the actual language of any particular section which interests you). I h A good basic overview of the American Care Act in three steps: First, the story of how the law was passed (if you aren't celebrating, skip this part, it is not very informative and will just annoy you). Next, a very readable overview of what the law does and how it may play out (this is already slightly out of date). Last, the law re-written in simple English (each section is referenced so you can go to the Internet and read the actual language of any particular section which interests you). I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand the law.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Pretty amazing so far! Yes, parts are dry as dirt, but it really explains the ins and outs of the affordable care act. One interesting tidbit is many in the media and some professors say that ACA is insurance reform and not health care reform. Now I know if anyone makes that claim then they haven't done their homework. The ACA is a complex and lengthy tome that addresses public health concerns, provider incentives, health inequities and more. I am still reading it so I will post again. Pretty amazing so far! Yes, parts are dry as dirt, but it really explains the ins and outs of the affordable care act. One interesting tidbit is many in the media and some professors say that ACA is insurance reform and not health care reform. Now I know if anyone makes that claim then they haven't done their homework. The ACA is a complex and lengthy tome that addresses public health concerns, provider incentives, health inequities and more. I am still reading it so I will post again.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    Landmark does a good job of presenting the changes that will come from the Affordable Care Act. After the first section it is very dry. There's no narrative after the "How We Got Here Section." It's respective in some spots but that's in part to allow you to skip/skim some sections that may be less relevant to you. Does it best to not be to political, acknowledging pro and cons of the ACA. The book is aimed to be educational on changes, not argue whether they are needed. Landmark does a good job of presenting the changes that will come from the Affordable Care Act. After the first section it is very dry. There's no narrative after the "How We Got Here Section." It's respective in some spots but that's in part to allow you to skip/skim some sections that may be less relevant to you. Does it best to not be to political, acknowledging pro and cons of the ACA. The book is aimed to be educational on changes, not argue whether they are needed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Fairly comprehensive (albeit biased) summary of the development the Affordable Care Act, written like a breaking news narrative from the staff of the Washington Post. To say I felt accomplished after finishing this probably sounds pathetic to any of the many players involved in writing and implementing the actual law. But I did. Bonus points if you make it through the 60 page summary of the ACA at the end.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    The play-by-play of the process of passing the legislation at the beginning of the book was pretty interesting, and the description of the legislation that followed was pretty informative, but I was looking for something either a little more "behind the scenes" or with a more substantive analysis. Considering how quickly they got this published after final passage, it's pretty impressive. The play-by-play of the process of passing the legislation at the beginning of the book was pretty interesting, and the description of the legislation that followed was pretty informative, but I was looking for something either a little more "behind the scenes" or with a more substantive analysis. Considering how quickly they got this published after final passage, it's pretty impressive.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Greg Otto

    All the talking heads on TV say no one knows what's in the new health care bill. Posties go through it and try to lay it out in the simplest terms possible. And it's still confusing. The actual policies aren't the confusing part, it's the way in which they will be enforced. Good book to keep around as things progress with the implementation of this bill. All the talking heads on TV say no one knows what's in the new health care bill. Posties go through it and try to lay it out in the simplest terms possible. And it's still confusing. The actual policies aren't the confusing part, it's the way in which they will be enforced. Good book to keep around as things progress with the implementation of this bill.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    I had to read this book for a class. Although normally I would not rate a book required for class as a 4, I actually found this book interesting and entertaining. It was interesting to read about the legislation process. I also feel more informed about the ACA. The book was written in a way that made it easy to read, it was not dry like most text books.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sam Motes

    Gave a decent review of the attempts to provide universal health care over the years starting with Franklin Roosevelt and why the Obama administration was able to get this version passed. It then drones through the rest of the book in reviewing what the law means and when different pieces took effect.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    The stars are not for prose, as with other books, but for style and information. Reportorial in style, which I always appreciate with wonky stuff, and designed in an easily followable and digestible way. If you want to know what goes with health care minus the bombast, pick up a copy.

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