Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Hyman is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and so his book, as you may have considered but not believed, literally takes as its conceit that Medicare is a demonic program sent to encourage all manner of deadly sins and, eventually, bring down the American republic. Spending so much time in the blogosphere, which vastly over-represents libertarians, it's occasionally easy to forget that libertarianism is a distinctly fringe ideology. Seeing them (jokingly) suggest Satanic origins for the massively popular and successful (if deeply in need of reform) system of health insurance for the elderly helpfully reminds.
That said, the book is actually quite good. I'd happily recommend it to anyone with a basic grasp on health care and a desire to learn a bit more about Medicare. Hyman is a felicitous and fun writer, and he conveys an impressive amount of history and data in as accessible and absorbable a manner as one could hope. I know how tricky it is to make health care a quick and gripping read, and I'm all for anyone able to enrich the debate and educate readers by doing so.
The rest of the review and the comments are also quite good.