Book review: Why Obamacare is Wrong for America

I love reading books. If I had all the time in the world, I would probably devote at least 30 percent of it on reading books.

I recently read a book that I had to read much earlier anyway but due to being busy with other more important tasks, including reading other books for a book club that I was part of, I had to postpone reading “Why Obamacare is Wrong for America” for later. Below is my review on Goodreads. Feel free to connect with me on Goodreads by clicking here.

I give this book three stars. Obamacare is definitely not flawless but the authors of this book did not put one single good word about it, and even some constructive efforts – such as increased record keeping – are bashed as increased red tape and what not. The authors’ discussion about the deterioration of the primary care workforce is not fair either as they did not discuss why that workforce is currently not sufficient to begin with, such as disparities in their compensation compared to those of specialists, reputation of a primary care physician as opposed to a specialist and other factors (I am talking from professional and academic experience, as I have conducted research on the issue).

As other readers of this book also noted, the book is too repetitive – so repetitive that in certain areas I read the same thing mentioned twice in less than five pages. Furthermore, plenty of criticisms that the authors made, including ones that have very good points against Obamacare, are discussed in too short and sometimes too shallow a manner. Especially in the first half of the book, I have come across at least five occasions where I read a sentence that makes an interesting point, but no further discussion to substantiate that point. Not to mention that I looked forward to reaching to the last chapter where the authors discussed what kind of reform was needed instead, only to be disappointed by a plethora of talking points and ideas on what should be done but almost nothing about how it should be done or the limitations that their ideas have including political feasibility and the advocated alternatives’ sustainability or lack thereof. This made the book look too political rather than analytical, regardless of what the authors’ ultimate goal in writing that book was.

Some readers have also criticized the book on relying on conservative and/or Republican analysts for citations that prove why Obamacare is wrong for America (no pun intended). While there are such sources in the book, I cannot side with this claim. The authors cited plenty of moderate and liberal sources including the Kaiser Family Foundation, the New York Times, Politico, and people who used to be advocates for Obamacare but then changed hearts when they faced realities in the health care reform that hurt them in one way or another, among other sources.

Another criticism that I have for the book is that the authors kept mentioning how the American public is against Obamacare. They cited public opinion surveys that show opposition to Obamacare at around 60 percent. However, what they did not cite are that same or similar public opinion surveys show that the American public has a favorable view on a variety of provisions in Obamacare – a similar picture on Congress (though not necessarily relevant) where public opinion surveys show that the American public is comparatively dissatisfied with Congress but is comparatively satisfied with their own representative or senator. After all, it doesn’t make too much sense to be for provisions 1, 2 and 3 but against an entire law that includes those same provisions. Discussion on the public opinion on the entire law and its provisions should have been elaborated on, rather than merely reiterating how the public is against the entire law but not mention anything about the provisions (or, for example, only citing the public’s opinion on provisions that were viewed unfavorably).

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