Health Care Reform in The United States: A Call to Action

A call to action for clinicians and all the rest of us, here's a brief book review for Dr. Marty Makaray's recently published book focusing on Health Care Reform in the United States.

On the same issue, PEAH is going to post a couple of companion articles by Larry Pipes:

- On Reforming U.S. Healthcare
- An Economic Prescription for U.S. Healthcare: On Combining Capitalism, Socialism and Sports Competition 

By Susan M. Severance, MPH

Forward Channel LLC


Health Care Reform in The United States: A Call to Action


I have been sheltering in place at home along with Dr. Marty Makary’s recently published book, The Price We Pay – What Broke American Health Care – And How To Fix It. I got the book from the library, read it, and then COVID-19 hit. The library asked that we hold onto our borrowed books for now. I am glad for that because I have it handy here with me. Dr. Marty Makary is a surgeon with the great ability to write in plain language; this is a book for all to read.

I highly recommend Dr. Makary’s book as an enlightening read into understanding the complicated health care system in The United States. Dr. Makary addresses public health care in The United States and does not hold back. Some of what he uncovers seems criminal in nature and unbelievable in our society. The areas covered in the book include: public health fairs, treatment of unpaid medical bills, overtreatment, health insurance, medications and the pharmacy, and overwellness. Dr. Makary encourages all in The United States to action with specific direction – a disruption movement that all can be a part of.

In a similar call to action, I want to share 5 books with you about patient safety and The United States health care system. All are written by surgeons. I read these fairly recently. Here are the books:

  • Flatlined by Guy L. Clifton, 2009
  • Unaccountable by Marty Makary, 2012
  • Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, 2014
  • The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, 2009
  • Better by Atual Gawande, 2007

I have had an interest in patient safety since being the project coordinator for an evidence-based medicine report on The Effect of Healthcare Working Conditions on Patient Safety published in 2003.  The work was performed at the Oregon Health & Science University and funded and published by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality part of The United States Department of Health and Human Services. This large report is in the public domain and you can find a summary here. A structured abstract is also available below: