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Best Books of the Year So Far
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David Gratzer a physician, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Dr. Gratzer is the author of The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care. His writing has graced the pages of dozens newspapers.
David Gratzer (and I) would like for you to imagine a world where "health-care reform" is a non-issue. It is a non-issue because the government and the insurance companies play almost no part in health care (AKA "going to see the doctor.") In this world, you go to see the doctor in exactly the same way as you go to see an automobile mechanic: he fixes the problem, and you pay him cash.
Well, welcome to Disneyland, you may be muttering. But it's not Disneyland. It's the country I grew up in, the United States of America in the 1950's --- and it's also the country I live in right now. Both of these "Fantasyland" countries had no tolerance at all for frivolous malpractice lawsuits, and jury awards which amounted to "another way of winning the lottery." You could NOT sue your doctor for $150 million without getting laughed out of court.
Well, the malpractice plague struck America, and soon doctors were paying anywhere from $30,000 to $250,000 a year for malpractice insurance. That is to say, it became clear that somebody had to pay those absurd $150 million claims. And perhaps worse, the whole industry succumbed to the "insurance model."
The only way I can think of --- to convince you of the inherent problems in the insurance model --- would be the true story of my Dad and a female acquaintance. This woman was chattering on about what her doctor had said a week ago, versus what her doctor had said two weeks ago, and made it clear that she did not let a month go by without dropping in to see her doctor. In an idle moment, she asked my Dad how often he went to the doctor, and he honestly replied that he hadn't seen a doctor in twenty years. (Dad was a veterinarian, so he knew quite a bit about practicing medicine.Read more ›
Excellent short book on all that's wrong with ObamaCare. Dr. Gratzer is a former Canadian psychiatrist who has had exposure to both Canadian and US health care systems. He provides evidence that many health outcomes are significantly better in the US on average. The major tenets of Obama's health care reform are provided and critiqued. The book also provides a much needed reminder of how we got into our current situation. In the 1940s, as a result of wage and price controls, employers started offering health insurance when they couldn't offer higher salaries. Then the IRS made insurance premiums paid by employers non-taxable. Gradually, most services became covered by employment based health plans, thus separating the cost of the service from the consumer. This could only lead to rising costs, leaving those without employer based coverage unable to afford care. It has been government intervention, not the free market, which has lead to many of our current problems. The book offers a useful quick summary to anyone concerned about the current health care reform.
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He wrote in this 2009 booklet, "One of the core ideas of ObamaCare is to create a British-style government panel to steer treatment decisions on this side of the Atlantic. Rationing by committee. It's one of the ideas that will radically transform American health care, leaving us with a shattered private insurance market and a huge government bureaucracy." (Pg. 2)
He argues, "If the public option is popular, then the benefits of private health investment will gradually be wiped out as government-run insurance dominates the marketplace---hence the criticism that the public option is a 'Trojan horse' for socialized health insurance... Liberal Democrats already have introduced tough new laws to ban insurance cancellations... (and) force insurers to sell policies to Americans with preexisting conditions. A public option has nothing to do with keeping insurers honest and everything to do with expanding the government's direct influence over doctors, clinics and patients." (Pg. 21) He asserts, "ObamaCare is not about building on what's right and addressing the challenges. It's about government takeover." (Pg. 30)
He concludes that the current system "is fraught with problems. For one thing, health insurance covers just about everything... Indeed, between private and public coverage, Americans are overinsured, paying pennies on the dollar...Read more ›
Although it did have some interesting stats from countries with socialized medicine, most of the info from this very short book consisted of things that I knew from watching TV. Don't waste your money!
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