Get What’s Yours For Health Care, by Philip Moeller
I must admit that I found this book fascinating from the perspective of a reader although I must admit that I disliked the premise of the book and presumably the author’s work as a whole. The author frames this material as getting what one deserves, but that sort of entitlement mentality is one I abhor and despise. That is not to say that I am opposed to getting good things, but it’s not a matter of merits. One gets what one negotiates, or the best that one can. Nothing in here is really about just desserts unless you assume (and I do not) that good health care is something that is deserved. At any rate, this is not a book that seeks to theoretically justify the author’s presumed opinion about such matters but rather a book that is very practically focused on how it is that people can get the cheapest and best health care that one needs without getting unnecessary care that increases the costs for oneself and everyone else. And I have to say that I like this approach and find it to be both practical and useful. If the reader is an American and has an interest in health care there is a lot to like here.
This book has a somewhat complex scheme of organization. Seventeen chapters are divided among three parts, and in between some of the chapters the author takes the time out to celebrate someone he supposes to be a health care hero(ine). The first part of the book discusses health insurance basics (I), including the state of things at present (1), friends and foes in health insurance (2), how employers are seeking to reduce their costs (3), the ACA and other plans, including short-term plans (4), as well as Medicare (5) and Medicaid (6) coverage. After that the author discusses one’s healthcare team (II), including a personal health plan (7), a personal care team (8), a professional care team (9), and what quality care looks like (10). The third and final part of the book then discusses new health care choices (III), including unneeded and misdiagnosed care (11), when one is in control and when not (12), shopping for health care (13), getting and paying for drugs (14), how to fight back against unfair charges (15), and what happens when consumers make the call (16), with a closing look at the pandemic and its changes in telemedicine, after which there are acknowledgements, appendices, note, and an index.
One of the more fascinating aspects of this book is the way that it deals with a few interesting aspects of the American health care system. The author notes the difficulty of cultural change and intelligently discusses attitudes that make American health care more expensive than would be the case otherwise. There are also comments about how it is that people who both support and condemn the American health care system do so about different aspects of it–where consumers have choice and power, there is something to be praised, and where there is no choice, there is a lot condemned, which reveals the author’s own opinion about power and choice and its importance. By and large the author takes a point of view of seeking to exploit the law as well as the current technological climate and also to seek whatever rebates and discounts are available to the point of buying one’s meds overseas to save on costs. This is not a person who is seeking to pay one’s fair share, but rather to get the most one can out of healthcare, to the point of praising someone for arranging the location of where he gets insulin to save thousands of dollars that he would otherwise have to spend.