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

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Overview

Last spring, after congress passed sweeping legislation to reform our nation’s health care system, the editorial board of the New York Times wrote: “Just as Social Security grew from a modest start in 1935 to become a bedrock of the nation’s retirement system, this is a start on health care reform, not the end . . . The process has finally begun.” One of the key voices in that process will be Philip Bredesen, who served as governor of Tennessee from 2003-2011. In Fresh Medicine—the first book to address this ...

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

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Overview

Last spring, after congress passed sweeping legislation to reform our nation’s health care system, the editorial board of the New York Times wrote: “Just as Social Security grew from a modest start in 1935 to become a bedrock of the nation’s retirement system, this is a start on health care reform, not the end . . . The process has finally begun.” One of the key voices in that process will be Philip Bredesen, who served as governor of Tennessee from 2003-2011. In Fresh Medicine—the first book to address this reform—Bredesen delivers a concise, intelligent analysis of what the reform is, how it is flawed and why we have to fix it.

Bredesen begins by exploring the problems with the new reform. Congress and the Obama Administration have added over 30 million more people into an obsolete broken system and done little to address the underlying problems, he argues. Bredesen then looks back and explains how the system evolved over the past century from the local doctor making house calls to today’s sprawling insurance model. Although health insurance started out as real insurance to cover hospitalization, Bredesen argues that what it pays for today is vastly different: drugs, doctor visits, and the treatment of chronic disease that extends over many years.

American health care, Bredesen asserts, needs to be reset on a new foundation, one step at a time. Without dealing with the tough problems—cost, sustainability, and quality—true reform will be elusive. Basic health care should be a universal right for all Americans, regardless of a person’s age, income, condition or where he or she lives. Based on a Social Security model in which an individual pays a small portion of his taxes into a trust, this new fund system, if managed responsibly, will guarantee a solid financial foundation for health care for generations to come. Moreover, Americans simply pay too much for health care, and so costs must be reduced by reintroducing the economic tension between buyers and sellers that makes the marketplace work. And finally, the quality of care must be improved by creating a comprehensive and accepted set of practice standards for all physicians to follow.

Governor Bredesen is uniquely qualified to contribute to this crucial debate. Before spending almost two decades in public service, during which time he overhauled an out-of-control Medicaid system that threatened to bankrupt his state, Bredesen was the founder and CEO of a managed-care company that he built from his kitchen table and ultimately took public.

In Fresh Medicine, Bredesen harnesses thirty years of experience to offer a bold, nonpartisan, and definitive take on what is wrong with health care in America, how it got there, and how we can fix it.

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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.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802145475
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,493,407
  • Product dimensions: 8.22 (w) x 5.54 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

A Contrarian View 10

What's Wrong with Reform 24

The Roots of America's Health Care System 45

Health "Insurance" 61

Moving Forward 69

Stepping-Stone 1 Dignified, Fair, and Universal 77

Stepping-Stone 2 Why Health Care is so Expensive 97

Stepping-Stone 3 Managing Hypercomplexity 121

Stepping-Stone 4 Quality 140

Stepping-Stone 5 Systems of Care 162

Stepping-Stone 6 Paying for Health Care 181

Putting it All Together 207

Twenty Years Later 225

Epilogue 245

Acknowledgments 249

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    RULES AND DATE OF WRITING CONTEST

    Due date- the end of June
    Rules
    1. No innapropriate content
    2. Check grammar, spelling, ect,.
    3. Be imaginative

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    The Real Way of Thinking ¿ Chapter One

    • Note: Stay away from the kitchen counter. • <p> Daddy says I can be out of my mind sometimes, and then he pets my hair. I pull away from him, hoping he won't do that again. "Courtney, touching is okay." <br> "No, it's not." <br> "So you don't like to be touched?" <br> "Yes. Touching isn't good." <br> "You are strange." <br> I walk away to go watch TV, then realize I want some water. I walk back into the kitchen and try and get past him. He pushes me back a ways and holds me there with his arm. "Not now, sport." I walk away, cringing. <p> •Note: Bubble baths are not for Border Collies. • <p> My border collie Silo is dirty when I first see him upstairs. I fill the bath, and put soap in. He jumps into the bath and swims. I rub the bubbles into his fluffy fur. He kicks and splashes like crazy, splashing the whole bathroom with water and soap. Then, I hear footsteps. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU COULD FLOOD THE WHOLE BATHROOM!" I jump at my dad's angry face. I want to go back to my hiding hole in my room. But I'm trapped.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

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    Posted March 5, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

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    Posted July 20, 2011

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