Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1930865891
ISBN-10: 1930865899
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$8.44 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$16.95 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
13 New from $4.93 19 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $9.85
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$16.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is one of the most important books written on health care." -- Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, copublisher of Marginal Revolution.

I warmly recommend his book to general readers who want to understand what economics has to say about health care. -- Arnold S. Relman, The New England Journal of Medicine, September 2006

From the Back Cover

His book is clear, concise, and eminently readable; he writes in straightforward English prose, not economic jargon; he is modest, posing questions more often than he answers them; and he considers alternatives to most of the policy options he discusses. I warmly recommend his book to general readers who want to understand what economics has to say about health care.
- Arnold S. Relman, M.D., Harvard Medical School, writing in The New England Journal of Medicine [Full text of review]

"Crisis of Abundance is full of useful insights, the best being Kling's schema for understanding the value of medical care. Kling offers some innovative ideas on how to introduce more consumerism into health care. It is ideas like these that will move us toward a more market-based system of health care and save us from the disaster that is a single-payer system."
- David Hogberg, The American Spectator [Full text of review]

For a fresh analysis of health care, people ought to look to economist Arnold Kling's new book, Crisis of Abundance. Although it offers no easy villain-versus-hero narrative or solution to the challenges of funding health care, it diagnoses the problem with precision.
- Sally Pipes, National Review Online, President of the Pacific Research Institute

This is a lucid and persuasive book--one of the most accessible guides I have ever seen to what is wrong with our health care system and how we might fix it. People of all ideological persuasions will find it enlightening and helpful.
- Daniel Shaviro, Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation, New York University School of Law, author of Who Should Pay for Medicare?

Crisis of Abundance pinpoints precisely where our health care spending has gone wrong. An emphasis on high-cost 'premium medicine' of marginal benefit, coupled with consumers shielded from its cost, has left us spending more for less. But Kling does more than offer criticisms--he also offers solutions. It's the Back to the Future of healthcare economics.
- Sydney Smith, publisher of Medpundit

This is one of the most important books written on health care.
- Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, copublisher of Marginal Revolution

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Cato Institute; 1 edition (April 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930865899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930865891
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,903,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've ever wondered why health care is so expensive in America, Kling will fill you in. Despite what many of us believe(d), it's not because of greedy pharmas or wasteful paperwork - as Kling shows, those ideas just don't hold water to explain the obscene cost hikes in recent years. Kling makes a great case that what has caused our problems is what he calls "premium medicine" - or health care spending whose cost exceeds its benefit.

As for solutions to our problems, Kling does a good job of unraveling many of the claims made by single-payer advocates, most notably that they can control costs without reducing benefits.

And when it comes to his own solutions, I found them to be very sensible (although I think he deliberately keeps them general). For example, he proposes keeping the government involved in funding health care, but ONLY for the poor and chronically ill (unlike in its current form where it also funds the elderly rich). This idea is so sensible - and seems to appeal to those on both sides of the aisle - that I'm surprised we haven't already done it.

All in all, well worth the read. Even if you generally don't like libertarian solutions to today's problems, I think you'll find Kling's book very easy to read, with far less ideology than in most other books on anything as controversial as health care.
Comment 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Crisis of Abundance" should be read by any educated person who wants to understand the healthcare crisis in the U.S. and proposals to remedy it. This short, intelligent book reviews the various theories in play to explain why the U.S. spends so much more (as a percentage of GDP) on healthcare than other developed nations; looks at the "awkward facts" facing each theory; describes the trade-offs that any system for healthcare spending cannot avoid; and presents realistic policy considerations for improvement.

Even if you normally don't read "public policy" books, you should make time for this one. It will give you a solid foundation for evaluating what politicians and pundits say about the healthcare crisis and all the different fixes, both good and bad, that will be offered for your support.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
For this reader, "Crisis of Abundance" by Arnold Kling was difficult to read. Fortunately, it is very short, under 100 pages. In the end, it was well worth my brief persistence.

Anyone who wants to understand the healthcare crisis in the U.S. would benefit by reading this. The author is an economist, and the book is clearly told from an economic and public policy perspective. His goal was to write this book for the "concerned citizen," while at the same time making it credible to professional economists (p. ix). I rank this book lower than most other reviews because I believe the author partially fails in his attempt to write this book clearly for the concerned citizen.

He makes the point that what ails our national health care system is what he calls "premium medicine" -- or health care spending whose cost exceeds its benefit. He defines "premium medicine" as: "frequent referrals to specialists; extensive use of high-tech diagnostic procedures; and increased numbers and variety of surgeries" (p. 4). "If our high levels of health care spending are the result of so-called premium medicine, we should be demonstrably healthier. Yet when we attempt to examine average longevity at a national level, there seems to be no connection between American's high levels of health care spending and life span." (p. 25)

I found the book most difficult when the author was presenting policy issues. Kling states that his goal is "not to offer a package of solutions. It is to raise the level of understanding of the realities, issues and tradeoffs pertaining to health care policy" (p. 95). Here, for this reader, he succeeded. I now have a far better grasp of why the U.S. spends so much more on health care than other developed nations.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Probably one of he best critiques of what ails the US healthcare system today. So-called health "insurance" isn't insurance. What is insurable about the risk that I will visit my doctor for an annual physical or my dentist for a cleaning? Why shouldn't I pay these out of pocket and use insurance to pay for what I can't pay out of pocket -- a catastrophic health incident? We get really interested in what we pay for out of our own pockets, but it has to be more than a co-pay or low deducible.

Like Social Security, people are not given an incentive to save for the healthcare needs of old age and Kling recommends a tax-exempt account which, if started at age 30 with annual contributions of $1600 and 3% real interst, would accumulate to $100,000 by age 65. At that time the owner would buy a "rest of life" insurance policy for a $25,000 premium with a $75,000 deductible. Medicare is phased out gradually. Make sense? That's why you'll never seen a politician support it. They can only think in terms of government run programs -- the same government that gave us postal "service", Medicare, and a social security programs whose paltry returns would get a commercial annuity manager fired or jailed for pocketing contributions net of payments instead of paying them to a decedent's estate.

This is a great book to read in an election year when everyone has a solution to healthcare in America.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care