America’s Bitter Pill

Zephyr Teachout in The New York Times:

BookSteven Brill is not easily intimidated. The founder of Court TV and Brill’s Content, among many other ventures, Brill likes to dive deeply and quickly into complicated national policy issues — public education, health care — that he, by his own admission, knows relatively little about when he begins. This is his great appeal and can be a great frustration. It makes him vulnerable to the charisma of his sources, as was apparent in his 2011 book, “Class Warfare,” in which he seemed dazzled by individuals involved in privatizing public education, while he largely ignored the existing research.

But in Brill’s new book, “America’s Bitter Pill,” his fresh, outsider curiosity makes him a superb guide to the maze of issues in American health care and health care reform. He breaks down insider language, asks fundamental and surprising questions, and leaves the reader — at least this one — full of more questions yet with a much clearer map of the lines of debate. You may not be persuaded by his conclusions, but you’ll emerge with a broader understanding of the characters and questions shaping our health care system.

More here.