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In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care (Hoover Institution Press Publication) [Kindle Edition]

Scott W. Atlas
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The real facts on America's health care dilemma

Medical care in the United States has been loudly and repeatedly derided as inferior in comparison to health care systems in much of the developed world and even in some relatively undeveloped nations. In Excellent Health offers an alternative view of the much maligned state of health care in America, challenging the statistics often cited as evidence that medical care in the United States is substandard and poor in value relative to that of other countries. Rather than relying on purely subjective judgments about equity and fairness, the book provides extensive, detailed evidence with which to answer the paramount question when considering quality of health care: "Where would you rather be when you are sick?"

Drawing from research in scientific and medical journals, the author defends both the quality of and access to medical care in the United States compared to numerous countries with nationalized systems often held up as models for health system reforms. He then suggests a logical and complete reform plan designed to maintain choice and access to excellence and facilitate competition. His proposal offers a series of key improvements in the three critical areas of the health care puzzle—tax structure, private insurance markets, and government health insurance programs—that will reduce health costs and maintain essential support for America's most vulnerable citizens, seniors and low-income families, without jeopardizing the exceptional health care quality and access in the United States.



Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Health care has become a topic of passionate debate in the United States. No one doubts that America's health care system needs change or that urgent reforms are required to ensure access and availability of the world's best medical care for the long term. But in an attempt to justify the radical reforms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of March 2010 and its premise that more government involvement is the solution to health care problems, its supporters have vilified private insurers and repeatedly criticized and unfavorably compared the quality of United States medical care to that in countries where government plays a far more prominent role in its availability and utilization. Research shows, however, that such comparisons are often misleading and contrary to factual data. This book exposes the facts about the state of America's health care system.

In Excellent Health revisits and analyzes the documents and statistics used to denigrate the quality of American health care and reaches far different conclusions. Author Scott Atlas presents the facts, as documented in scientific and medical journals, about the most important role of health care—the diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases—and shows how medical care quality in the United States compares favorably to that of other countries of the developed world. He also exposes the facts on access to medical care—one of the most fundamental requirements of any health care system—revealing that millions of people in other countries wait for appropriate diagnosis and treatment whereas Americans have superior access to timely medical care.

The author presents a plan for health care reform based on three key pillars: substantive tax reforms, including government-provided assistance for those in need; essential overhauls to private insurance; and a minimization of the government's role as direct insurer. With reforms that increase competition in the health insurance and health care markets, consumer-driven, value-based purchasing, rather than artificial government edicts, will lower costs to consumers.
 

From the Back Cover

Fixing America's health care-without jeopardizing its quality

Medical care in the United States has been loudly and repeatedly derided as inferior in comparison to health care systems in much of the developed world and even in some relatively undeveloped nations. In Excellent Health offers an alternative view of the much maligned state of health care in America, challenging the statistics often cited as evidence that medical care in the United States is substandard and poor in value relative to that of other countries. Rather than relying on purely subjective judgments about equity and fairness, it provides evidence to answer the paramount question when considering quality of health care, "Where would you rather be when you are sick?"

Drawing from research documented in scientific and medical journals, the author defends both the quality of and access to medical care in the United States compared to numerous countries with nationalized systems often held up as models for health system reforms. He then suggests a logical and complete reform plan designed to maintain choice and access to excellence and facilitate competition. His proposal offers a series of key improvements in the three critical areas of the health care puzzle-tax structure, private insurance markets, and government health insurance programs-that will reduce health costs and maintain essential support for America's most vulnerable citizens, seniors and low-income families.


Product Details

  • File Size: 3650 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press; 1st edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0074CQ1UK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,547 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(11)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW. Concise and thoughtful January 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I normally do not take the time to write these reviews. Will make an exception here. When can you read a book that, within 100 pages, walks you though:

1) the problems with the two basic metrics of how we evaluate healthcare systems ( life expectancy and infant mortality) and how those problems, falsely, lead people to believe our system functions sub optimally

and

2) how people who suffer though the three major killers (heart disease, cancer and strokes) are systematically more likely to survive them in our healthcare system as compared with others.

The only problem with this book is that it saddens me that the system that comes out on top (ours) is moving to the ones below us (universal care)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having lived and used healthcare services in four countries, in the USA and in three European countries with different versions of socialized healthcare including the UK, I had no difficulty in accepting the conclusions of the book (as stated in the title), and, in fact, I was still a bit shocked by some of the really really bad statistics particularly in NHS even when compared to the other 'socialized' systems. NHS is undoubtedly the worst system in Europe, and even if I am not British, it is was completely embarrassing to watch the London Olympic Opening Ceremony's proud display of NHS - I presume if all the political parties in the UK continue providomg propaganda to their people about NHS being the "greatest healthcare system in the world", at some point people started believing it.
Now that we are close to experiencing what government meddling does to healthcare (and even if the left will misguidedly argue that after Obamacare we still have a free market system here in the US), hopefully some policy makers actually read this book and don't just think that it is too late to change the direction of health care in the US.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Data > Anecdote October 28, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is amazing. It takes down some common misconceptions about the health care system in the United States. I would highly recommend it to folks who believe that the US has one of the worst health care outcomes in the developed world. Sadly though as I've aged, I've found out that people don't construct their opinions on the available facts. Instead they pick the facts that match their opinions. Hopefully my law professor reads this book and changes his course content accordingly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr. Scott Atlas is eminently qualified both as a physician and as a policy analyst to address this question. If you've always wondered why you read in the media that US health care is so mediocre when your own experience has been excellent, this book explains the paradox. Dr. Atlas does a masterful -- and for the most part highly readable -- job of explaining both the macrostatistics of longevity and infant mortality and the microstatistics of 5-year survival rates for cancer and heart disease, access to care, etc. Our own risky behavior of obesity, murder, car accident, having nothing to do with our health care system, dramatically affect our longevity. Read the book to see what happens to our longevity when all those clearly non-health system related variables are accounted for (hint: it could hardly be better). In the chapter on infant mortality we learn that it's pretty much up to each country to define when life begins; we define it with virtually any kind of a live birth whereas other countries for example define life existing only if the live birth is over a certain weight such as 2 1/2 lbs. But the most amazing statistics are those which look at US results disease by disease relative to single-payer systems that ration care by keeping people waiting many more weeks for care than our wait times.
After reading this one can only pray that we haven't thrown the baby out with the bathwater! I'd hate to see our cancer-survival rates or our access to modern technology go down to that of Canada or Great Britian or virtually any of the other OECD countries in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, an expert with the facts January 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
We need facts and Scott Atlas delivers them. This book should be delivered by the Gideons, along with the Bible. That is how important his message is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for Congress December 7, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very good data-oriented approach to US healthcare. Send this to the president and Congress as they try to fix the ACA
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More About the Author

Scott W. Atlas is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor at the Stanford University Medical Center, and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Atlas's research interests are domestic and global health care policy, particularly the role of government in pricing, quality, access, and innovation. He lectures throughout the world on MRI advances and key economic issues related to technology innovation. Atlas has been interviewed on television, radio, and other news media, including BBC Radio and the Lehrer News Hour, and in newspapers such as Brazil's Correio Braziliense, Italy's Corriere della Sera, and Argentina's Diario La Nacion. Atlas, who has received numerous awards and honors, has been a member of the Nominating Committee for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for several years.

Atlas received his BS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his MD from the University of Chicago.

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