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The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care Hardcover – October 9, 2006
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From the Back Cover
"David Gratzer is a practicing psychiatrist who combines firsthand knowledge of medical practice in both his native Canada and the U.S. with an independent point of view and a rare capacity for lucid exposition of complex technical material. . . If you want a well-written, interesting yet authoritative and thorough account of what is wrong with medicine today and how to cure American health care, this is the book for you."
- Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate, Economics (from foreword to The Cure)
"The Cure is a must read for all students of health care policy. Dr. Gratzer correctly diagnoses the U.S. health care system's problems and proposes workable solutions to fix them. His ideas will help reign-in costs while, at the same time, preserve necessary incentives for quality-of-life enhancing innovations."
--John F. Cogan, Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"David Gratzer's well written book should be in the reading list of anyone interested in health care reform. In five-sixths of the U.S economy, we look to markets as an organizing mechanism; in the one-sixth of the economy represented by health care, public policy has frustrated markets, with adverse consequences for cost, access, and quality. Gratzer's capitalist manifesto is a shot in the arm; with it, the much that's right with American health care can grow."
--R. Glenn Hubbard, Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School; and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
"The caduceus is an apt symbol for medicine, given the bureaucratic snake pit the American health care system has become. Dr. David Gratzer skillfully wields Occam's razor to shave away the Byzantine rhetoric and show us that the cure for health care comes in the simplest of formulas - free markets, less government meddling, and a healthy dose of capitalism."
--Governor Bill Owens, Colorado
"Dr. David Gratzer is uniquely qualified to diagnose and provide a treatment regimen for the US health care system's problems. In this book he performs this function for us, does it with his usual acumen and clarity. He leads us by the hand through the labyrinth of legal, institutional and regulatory events that brought to the point where, at least to some, we are in a health crisis that can only be solved by further movement away from the market and toward a universal centrally controlled system. He thoroughly debunks the notion we can improve the US health care system by becoming more like our neighbors to the North. After taking us there, he shows us why these same legal, institutional, and regulatory events are largely responsible for our predicament and that the popular solution of more of the same is not the answer. He convincingly demonstrates that the only way out is less regulation of, and more freedom for, the providers and customers of health care. This book should be read by anyone involved, or with the hope or potential to be involved, in determining health care policy."
--Tom Saving, Director, Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University.
"Excellent addition to the emerging call for empowering patients rather than government bureaucrats with control of the health care dollar, written by someone with an expert view from the inside!"
--Scott W. Atlas, MD, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine
About the Author
David Gratzer, a licensed physician in the US and Canada, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His research interests include Medicare and Medicaid, drug reimportation, and FDA reform.
Nobel laureate Milton Friedman authored the foreword to Dr. Gratzer's newest book, referring to him as "a natural-born economist." In The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care (Encounter Books, October 2006), Dr. Gratzer offers a detailed overview of American health care and makes the case that it's possible to reduce health expenses, insure millions more, and improve quality of care without growing government or raising taxes.
Dr. Gratzer is the author of Code Blue: Reviving Canada's Health Care System (ECW Press, 1999) and is the editor of Better Medicine (ECW Press, 2002), a collection of essays from leading health care thinkers in North America and Europe. He is often quoted across North America and is frequently invited to speak on health reform. He has debated Congressman Gil Gutknecht on drug reimportation at the American Enterprise Institute, has testified before Congress on the Health Care Choice Act, and has keynoted the Long Island Health Care Summit after Senator Hillary Clinton cancelled because of a scheduling conflict. Dr. Gratzer has written for more than a dozen newspapers and magazines and is a peer reviewer for numerous publications and organizations.
Top customer reviews
The author's thesis is that the U.S. health care system is in such shambles because of the way the system is designed. The current system prevents the free market to function like any other sector of the economy. The solution is more choice, more competition, and fewer regulations.
One of the key problems is the way health care is paid for--it is treated less as insurance and more as pre-paid healthcare. For example, you don't insure your car for routine maintenance but mainly for high cost and catastrophic accidents. For routine maintenance, you pay out of pocket based on a consideration of price and quality of an auto repair shop. The same should apply to health care.
The author argues persuasively that a routine visit to a doctor should be paid for by the patient, whereas an operation would be paid for by a high-deductible insurance policy. The patient would be able to pay for routine visits through their own health savings accounts. A shift to this paradigm will bring down costs for everyone and make health care more affordable.
The author also provides solutions to the problems and rising costs with Medicare and Medicaid which are both going broke. He offers solid solutions there, but it's hard to see the politicians going for them.
For those that want to educate themselves on how to fix the health care system, this is a must read.
The strong point of this book is that the author is licensed in both the U.S. and Canadian health care systems, and very familiar with both. Proponents of alternatives to our current system often seem to overlook the fact that all existing alternative systems also have problems, which cannot be improved by mere ignorance.
Combining this book's real world experience with the Kling book's hard-headed focus on economics provides much to chew over in the debates surely about to begin again in the U.S.