November 7, 1986

America's Health Care Revolution: Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Pays?

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago University of Wisconsin Madison


by Joseph A. Califano, Jr, 241 pp, $17.95, New York, Random House Inc, 1986.

JAMA. 1986;256(17):2417. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380170133035

The author is a prominent private and public citizen whose experience with health services was as a former secretary of the then US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Carter and from 1981 as a member of the board of the Chrysler Corporation, chairing its committee on health care. No other corporation as of that time had such a committee. The president of Chrysler, Lee Iacocca, wanted to get a handle on the rising health care costs of the Chrysler employees, which exceeded $500 a car and $1500 per employee per year.

This book is thus a result of the author's personal experiences and will sell because of his prominence rather than as a contribution to new insights into how to handle the problem of rising costs in the American health services. Everything in the book has been said before but not as vividly or with such conviction