A Book by Dr. Larry Kessler. We All Die Once: Making American Health Care Work, 2012. ISBN#9781480044265
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT
January saw the swearing in of a new Congress, many legislators and governors. As expected, the issue of healthcare is once again on the table and trending to be a major issue in the upcoming 2020 elections. Republicans are committed to repealing Obamacare. Democrats are just as committed to keeping it or if possible, moving towards Obamacare 2.0, Universal Healthcare or Medicare for All. Regardless of who’s in the White House, the law will be continuously challenged, reviewed, and probably changed, if not tossed out altogether. When those debates begin, if there is a single book every concerned citizen, congressman, senator, and administration official should read, it’s “We All Die Once.”
“We All Die Once” is a riveting account of the past, present, and future of American medicine. From prenatal care to the end of life, this book uses history, analysis, and dramatic personal experiences to illustrate every major controversy in the healthcare fight. Starting with the emergency room, it guides readers through the modern hospital, examining individual cases to show larger truths. It chronicles lives saved, lives lost, and lives caught in the twilight world between the two. It shows how modern medicine is shaped by an anarchic array of forces, each with its own source, focus, and interests.
Dr. Larry Kessler, an Board Certified Emergency Physician explains how insurance, law, and DTC (Direct to Consumer) advertising have shaped our medical experience. He demonstrates how technology combines with culture to create the false notion of a zero-failure rate. Medical malpractice, regulatory boards, and excess testing are vividly described in stories showing real life consequences.
Thorough description and argument are fine, but the true value of “We All Die Once” is in its solutions. All the firsthand accounts, arguments and history follow a logical course to proposals of sane, rational measures that balance imperfections with ideals. This isn’t a panacea, nor is it stuck in socialistic or libertarian philosophies. It’s a pragmatic way for healthcare to benefit from free market competition, allowing most of us to pay affordable prices for humane and personalized service. It retains a role for government in healthcare for the poor and needy and returns insurance to its proper role of backup against catastrophe. It outlines roles for law and media which would protect both doctors and patients, while providing patients with accurate, objective information in an atmosphere free of high-pressure promotions.
“We All Die Once” takes the impossible quandaries of healthcare and subjects them to the art of the possible. Readers with an interest in medicine, economics, or public policy will find it’s impossible to put this book down.