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Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer Paperback – July 15, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a both a Democratic Party standard bearer and a former practicing physician, Gov. Dean (You Have the Power, Winning Back America) has placed himself at the forefront of grass-roots organizing for healthcare reform. In a searing indictment of private insurers who put profits ahead of care, Dean advocates a public-health insurance option, posing the question: "Is private health insurance really health insurance? Or is it simply an extension of the things that have been happening on Wall Street?" Charts illustrate the disadvantages faced by U.S. industry against competitors in other countries, and dovetail with his plan for "healthcare reform, not just insurance reform," including more preventative medicine, home-care for seniors, standards set by medical professionals rather than insurers; ultimately, he concludes, the result would be lower costs and better medicine. Dean is most controversial when he proposes to fund reforms with a carbon tax on gasoline, and only slightly less so when asserting that a "reform bill is not worth passing" without a public option. This lively, detailed read should help shape the debate on one of the year's most pressing issues.
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Review

"Dean's book, published earlier this month, is the single best vehicle I've seen so far to get a good sense of what this health care reform means. He describes in prose that is, at once genial, straightforward and simple, the whole range of issues. All of the questions above, and more, are answered in a clear fashion. The book is remarkable for taking a reform plan that has befuddled so many Americans, and making it seem incredibly simple."--People's Weekly World



"Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform should be required reading for every American over the age of 18. This is the most comprehensive and accessible presentation of a situation that deeply affects each one of us."--Dindy Yokel, Examiner.com



Mcjoan, DailyKos.com-
Dean makes an excellent and extremely readable case for why substantive, structural reform isn't just necessary, it's imperative for the nation's economic recovery in the short term, and for establishing an economic base to build a sustainable future. He talks about something that has rarely come up in this debate so focused on the 47 million Americans without insurance--the 25 million who have insurance but don't get regular medical care because they can only afford catastrophic care coverage. He talks about the cost to American businesses--small and large--in trying to keep up with the the cost of insuring themselves and their employees--costs that have risen 119 percent in the past decade.

He, along with co-authors Faiz Shakir from Center for American Progress and Igor Volsky from Think Progress's Wonk Room, provides the reader with all the information she needs to argue for a) the necessity for real reform, and b) the key elements for that reform. That includes a chapter on the myths (aka, the Frank Luntz talking points) the right-wing is using in the debate, and the facts that rebut every one of those myths. Here's the three authors talking about just that.

All of these facts, figures, and talking points are provided in the book for one reason, and it's a familiar one coming from Gov. Dean: to provide you with all the ammunition you need to help get real reform enacted. Anyone who reads this book will be able to talk intelligently and convincingly about a broad range of healthcare related topics, from how various industrialized European countries provide this public good to why his most controversial idea for funding reform, a carbon tax, actually makes sense. All this is to get you out there talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about healthcare reform; calling your representatives, writing letters to the editor; calling into talk shows and cable shows. As he says in the book, "Successful political campaigns never stop."



Publishers Weekly-
As both a Democratic Party standard bearer and a former practicing physician, Gov. Dean (You Have the Power, Winning Back America) has placed himself at the forefront of grass-roots organizing for healthcare reform. In a searing indictment of private insurers who put profits ahead of care, Dean advocates a public-health insurance option, posing the question: "Is private health insurance really health insurance? Or is it simply an extension of the things that have been happening on Wall Street?" Charts illustrate the disadvantages faced by U.S. industry against competitors in other countries, and dovetail with his plan for "healthcare reform, not just insurance reform," including more preventative medicine, home-care for seniors, standards set by medical professionals rather than insurers; ultimately, he concludes, the result would be lower costs and better medicine. Dean is most controversial when he proposes to fund reforms with a carbon tax on gasoline, and only slightly less so when asserting that a "reform bill is not worth passing" without a public option. This lively, detailed read should help shape the debate on one of the year's most pressing issues.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1 edition (July 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603582282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603582285
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,835,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dindy Yokel on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Healthcare reform plays a major role in discussions and the media today, but it is confusing, overwhelming, boring and seemingly unsolvable to most people. Howard Dean presents the problems and solutions in plain language in his new book, Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform. For Dr. Dean's appearance schedule please visit the publisher's website.

Hear someone utter the word Healthcare and the emotion that rises up and continues to spiral nearly out of control is anger. Dean writes, "according to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, in March 2009 alone almost 11,000 workers a day lost their health insurance." Do the math and the anger turns to outrage - 341,000 people lost their health insurance in a 31-day period.

There are "47 million Americans who don't have health insurance. But the healthcare debate should also focus on the fact that 25 million working-aged Americans have health insurance but still cannot' afford to see a doctor," states Dean in his introduction. Terrifying statistics compounded by information from the Commonwealth Fund, "many go without needed care, not filling prescriptions, and not following up on recommended treatment."

Howard Dean is eminently qualified to write about healthcare reform for several reasons. He is graduated from Yale in 1971 with a BA in Political Science. He received his medical degree from Columbia University during which he spent one month at the American Medical Association following Senators Jacob Javits and Ted Kennedy as they attempted to create a healthcare bill during President Carter's first term. His was elected the first Democratic Governor of Vermont since 1853.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Smith's Rock on July 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
So that you know my point of view: I'm a 56 year old family physician that has practiced on Indian reservations, in clinics that cater exclusively to Medicare and Medicaid patients, and for the last 14 years, in a private practice group of eight doctors in a small town in Central Oregon.

Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform is an even-handed, even-tempered, well researched investigation of what options we Americans face regarding the future of healthcare in our country. With none of the stridency of either the free market advocates or the single payor systems devotees, Dean lays out some indisputable facts, and offers thoughtful solutions to decreasing costs. Here are some basics, all of which have been documented thoroughly elsewhere: the United States spends 15% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare, 50% higher than what our allies France and Canada spend, 40% higher than what Switzerland spends. For this, we get a product that is ranked last in quality, access, efficiency, and health of citizens as compared to our European and Canadian counterparts. This isn't a liberal problem, or a conservative problem. It's a humiliating problem for a physician like myself that takes pride in my country and my profession. And it's a problem that I seeing play out in real life every day that I show up to work. It flies in the face of our image of ourselves as a can do, innovative people.

Dean's short (115 pages of fairly large print) book is a bit dry, reading somewhat like a lengthy white paper on healthcare reform.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By LaLoren on August 13, 2009
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Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer

I thought I was a little smarter than the average bear when it came to understanding healthcare reform, since I worked in employee benefits for more than 10 years in the 70s and 80s when cost-containment (but not yet issues of denied coverage) had just become a major issue. However, I still learned quite a bit from Dr. Dean's book about the past history of healthcare reform, what is included in Obama's plan, and what other countries do. I highlighted huge portions to quote for my blog on healthcare reform.

Though obviously put together quickly, including a few typos and awkward sentences, it is still quite interesting and easy to read. At the same time, I'd say it is as objective as it needs to be in this fight that has turned into a shouting match. When opponents of reform are spouting outright lies--which they are--there isn't room for much deference. On the other hand, what some are touting as a plan from the far left, actually pays great homage to our free enterprise system. Dean repeats over and over that Americans wouldn't accept a plan without choice, though I'm not so sure that is true.

However, as originally a strong advocate of single payer, I was amazed to learn that most of the countries providing universal healthcare are not single payer but a system of competing private plans with guaranteed coverage and community rating with most either providing some form of public option for those who can't afford private coverage or a mandate on what private insurers can charge.
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