Hyman is extraordinarily knowledgeable about health care regulation and his exposition is succinct. The book is filled with informative and accurate summaries of Medicare’s complicated program design and related laws. The summaries of fraud and abuse law, for example, make my heart sing. I’ve seldom seen such an accessible and accurate primer.
It would be a stretch, however, to claim that Horwitz and Hyman see eye-to-eye. Horwitz concludes her 19-page review thus:
Medicare Meets Mephistopheles is a terrific overview of a troubled system, but a missed opportunity to help reform Medicare. Providing health care fairly and efficiently is a complicated process that necessarily involves a heavy dose of government. Libertarian railing against big government, regulation, and all lefty foolishness that market proponents despise doesn’t get one very far in determining how to get health care to 300 million people. In the end Hyman doesn’t offer any realistic alternative to this government-regulated muddle because, God knows, his plans are unacceptable anywhere but in hell.