Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Clinton Health Care Plan Proves Bestselling Book

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Clinton Health Care Plan Proves Bestselling Book

Article excerpt

By Arlene Levinson

Associated Press

The reviews are in for the Health Security Act: The Book.

"Compelling . . .Perot-esque graphs and pie charts. . . Some people might be moved to tears!"_ Ron Hadar, law student.

"Fluff! . . .Brushes over hard-core issues!" _ Louis Feinholtz, consultant.

"Even those who wrote it are going to be surprised at what it means!" political science Professor Robert Huefner.

Mixed notices are the lot of many books, especially must-reads like the Clinton administration's formal manifesto for its health care revolution.

By government standards, the proposed law is a marketing hit _ both versions. Two weeks after release, the government had sold 11,500 copies of the Health Security Act (1,342 pages; 4 pounds, 6 ounces; $45) and 21,000 copies of the more-digestible "Health Security: The President's Report to the American People" (136 pages; 10 ounces; $5).

An additional 1,000 copies each of the law and the report were copied onto personal computers through FedWorld, the government's computer gateway to many public documents.

And Times Books in New York has sold almost 200,000 copies of "The President's Health Security Plan," containing the shorter report plus a draft of the proposal leaked Sept. 10, all for $9.

While demand for the government's hefty law-in-full fell to a trickle this week, its easy-reading president's report is still selling well, said Carlyn Crout, spokeswoman for the U.S. Government Printing Office.

"In terms of what we consider short-term hot items, it's certainly right up there with any of the best we've had _ the budget, the Challenger report, the tax revisions of a couple years ago," Crout said.

Whether through mail order, computer download or the government's 24-outlet chain of bookstores, consultants, lawyers, lobbyists, bureaucrats and motivated citizens have been lugging and snapping and calling up the texts.

Every night since Karl Albrecht bought the full text, after he puts his 18-month-old son to bed in Southfield, Mich., he retreats to his study, tunes his radio low to mellow music, takes out his highlighter pens and reads.

Reads hard.

The material is dry. The sentences are long. With all the references to other statutes, a law library would help. …

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