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Is Obamacare nothing more than a last gasp of the insurance-company model before the inevitable embrace of single-payer? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Democrats won big in the midterms by promising to protect the Affordable Care Act, but they shouldn’t celebrate just yet. That, at least, is the implication of “Ensuring America’s Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System,” which leads my list of interesting reads this year. This history by Christy Ford Chapin asks and answers a vexing question: Why does the U.S., almost alone among developed nations, have such an inefficient, byzantine health-care system that charges exorbitant rates for ever-diminishing coverage?

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