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Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It, Paperback – October 10, 2007
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Michael Cannon and Michael Tanner make a convincing and articulate argument for less government intervention in an industry that is surprisingly dominated, directly and indirectly, by the federal government: They tease away the layers of state mandates, federal regulation, onerous FDA oversight and overall bureaucratic waste that bloat the cost of health care in America. Cannon and Tanner proceed to elucidate the reform needed to stem the rising tide of cost while improving the general quality of patient care. Most of the reforms involve an overhaul in federal tax codes, expansion of HSA programs, eliminating the monopoly that the FDA enjoys and many others. This book is well researched, revealing and logical. Please note, there is quite a bit of technical information and a trove of statistical data in this book. It reads a bit like it was written for policy wonks or academics but still very accessible to the layman.
Cannon and Tanner's book starts with a foreword by the Hon. George P. Shultz: "We begin with a riddle. What country's health care system offers the best health services in the world, is consistently criticized for not being accessible enough, and yet is so accessible that overutilization is leading to runaway costs?" The answer is, of course, America.
The following 147 pages offers a detailed analysis of what's wrong with American health care (government and insurance industry policies that lead to overuse of medical services) and what's right (the strong remnants of a free market system that encourages innovation, high quality, at an often lower cost). Both detailed and heavily footnoted, but also very readable at the same time, "Healthy Competition" strikes the right balance between a dense academic paper and a clarion call for action.
In concluding the book, Cannon and Tanner write:
"Despite its marvels, America's health care sector continues to present troubling symptoms: excessive costs, uneven quality, a lack of useful information for patients and providers, extraordinary waste, and enormous burdens for future taxpayers. An accurate diagnosis points to too much government influence and too little choice and competition. Proposals to increase the role of government would aggravate these symptoms. More subsidies or controls would drain from the medical marketplace even more of the dynamics that drive other sectors of the economy toward lower prices and higher quality.Read more ›