Fresh Medicine: How to Fix Reform and Build a Sustainable Health Care System

Fresh Medicine: How to Fix Reform and Build a Sustainable Health Care System

3.6 6
by Phil Bredesen
     
 

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"American health care, which has come so far in the last century, seems now to have lost its way. Its productivity has stagnated, with its growth in cost far outstripping its gain in effectiveness. Its blueprint is obsolete: a design for acute illness when chronic illness increasingly absorbs our resources and shortens our lives. Entrenched interests paralyze

Overview

"American health care, which has come so far in the last century, seems now to have lost its way. Its productivity has stagnated, with its growth in cost far outstripping its gain in effectiveness. Its blueprint is obsolete: a design for acute illness when chronic illness increasingly absorbs our resources and shortens our lives. Entrenched interests paralyze it just when it most needs to change and adapt."

"Our 'reform' wasn't transformational, nor was it particularly courageous. The planets were aligned: for a moment, Americans were attentive, were ready to listen and to try new things. But neither the president nor the Congress-and I include both parties here-were willing to talk plainly and honestly to the American people. They were unwilling to tell us things we didn't want to hear or to call on us to do anything hard."

"America is on a dangerous collision course with fiscal reality that we can't ignore much longer. To remind us: in 2008 our Medicare program alone had unfunded liabilities of around $37 trillion. To put that in perspective, that represents a current obligation of about $280,000 for every full-time worker in America."

"Our high cost of health care, and its continued high rate of growth, is not the result of technology, or administrative overhead, or chronic disease, or malpractice suits, or the lack of information systems, or transparency. It's the direct and inevitable result of our having systematically removed the economic tension between buyer and seller that makes efficient markets work."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beginning with the words "Health care in America is broken," and the claim that its underlying structure (insurance; uncoordinated providers) is obsolete, Tennessee governor Bredeson lays out a "new set of principles" to guide reform. While he supported President Obama's health care reform package, he now calls it "a stunning disappointment" and flags an inadequate funding mechanism and the act's failure to establish fiscal and quality control, which will lead to sky-rocketing costs. He proposes many improvement measures, including six well-considered "stepping stones," like the establishment of a trust account modeled on Social Security and financed by new taxes, and an independent audit of healthcare organizations, and would replace the recently-challenged mandate with a national voucher system. Prior to public service Bredesen founded and ran a managed-care company and, as governor, has been faced with overseeing TennCare, the State's controversial experimental program which, he writes, is an example of how a well-intentioned medical reform can spin "wildly out of control." Bredesen's belief in the value of direct experience led him to undertake this endeavor and he crystallizes that experience into a concise yet comprehensive effort.
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From the Publisher

“In this important new look at a topic of urgent concern to the country, Phil Bredesen does something unique: he brings together the perspectives of a businessman, a politician, and an historian to tell the story of health care in America. Told with skill and grace, Fresh Medicine explains how we got where we are, and what we have to do going forward. Bredesen has given all of us a great gift.” —Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

“Phil Bredesen knows the American health care system inside and out. He knows both the theory and, more importantly, how things really work. His perspective is unique and wise; if you’re interested in health reform, you’d do well to read and consider what he has to say.” —Bill Frist, M.D., former Senate majority leader

“Fresh Medicine is at once an indictment of the current state of our health care system and a pointed plan for a new model.”—The Nashville City Paper

“Few public officials in America are as experienced in health care issues as Tennessee’s governor, Phil Bredesen. He knows the subject from the standpoint of a health care management executive in the private sector and as the governor who rescued his state’s Medicaid program (and his state) from impending bankruptcy. He has distinctive views on how America’s broken health care system should be reformed. And he can express his ideas well.” —Mort Kondracke, Executive Editor and Columnist, Roll Call

“When it comes to health care, there is no one the nation's governors have relied on more than Phil Bredesen. He knows what he is talking about, and we respect his insights and the way in which he practices what he preaches.” —Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

“Governor Bredesen’s unique combination of successful experiences in both the public and private sectors gives him an important voice in our national health care debate. His stewardship of TennCare and the innovation he has brought to expanding access to underserved Tennesseans show that he is a leader whose proposals deserve careful consideration.” —Scott Serota, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

“Thought provoking.” —Memphis Medical News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802119384
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/05/2010
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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Fresh Medicine: How to Fix Reform and Build a Sustainable Health Care System 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
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