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Authors

Vincent E. Kerr

Abstract

Epidemic of Care: A Call for Safer, Better, and More Accountable Health Care. By George C. Halvorson & George J. Isham. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003. Pp. 271.

Imagine a world where few can afford necessary and life-saving treatments, where hospitals and physicians can no longer provide uncompensated care, where government and employers can pay for only the barest safety net, and where health care facilities are so understaffed that they are dangerous. That world may be closer than you think.

This nightmare scenario is suggested by recent trends cited in Epidemic of Care: A Call for Safer, Better, and More Accountable Health Care. This book, written by George Halvorson and George Isham, is a wonderful primer on why health care in this country is as flawed and as expensive as it is, and it presents information about which everyone should be concerned. Medicare recipients, retired workers, active workers, the poor, the unemployed, and children are all adversely affected by the poor quality of care too often provided by today's health care system. No economic class will go untouched if the disturbing picture Epidemic of Care paints of the future of health care becomes a reality. But, perhaps more importantly, Epidemic of Care is also a call to action.

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