I've just started reading Uninsured in America (by Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle, Univ. of Ca. Press, 2005), and I'm concerned. While the book is a much needed look at the working poor, and it promises to provide me with facts and stories I'll be quoting at cocktail parties for months to come, I'm worried that it won't make a lick of practical difference.
The point of the book seems to be to chronicle how working hard and playing by the rules is often not enough to let individuals and families meet crushing health care costs, and to shine a light on the often devastating consequences. It's a good reason to write a book. The potential problem lies in the presentation. Like most liberals, I already believe that if you work hard and exercise some minimal level of good judgment in managing your life affairs, a wealthy and powerful nation should be able to see to it that the necessities for health and happiness are available to you.
If this book is to make a direct change, then, it has to be aimed at the other side: people who believe (wrongly) that we do take care of our own; people who believe that because they are making it through, anyone can; and people who just don't give a shit as long as the market is humming. And by page 26, I've begun to worry that this book won't make a dent in that crowd.