Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality

Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality

by Arthur Garson, Carolyn L. Engelhard

Aren't you tired of hearing that the American health care "system" is broken? Well, it is: you can't understand your bill—or pay it; you wait for an hour before seeing the doctor for 10 minutes; and that was your child who was just laid off, and whose family has no health insurance. Now, a new book by Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., Dean of the University of


Aren't you tired of hearing that the American health care "system" is broken? Well, it is: you can't understand your bill—or pay it; you wait for an hour before seeing the doctor for 10 minutes; and that was your child who was just laid off, and whose family has no health insurance. Now, a new book by Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, informs Americans about American health care, ways in which it is tarnished and ways in which it shines. Garson says that if we are going to make our healthcare system work for us we must begin with a common set of information; but our current information comes from "sound bites" that on their surface seem perfectly reasonable, but on closer examination are wrong. Health Care Half-Truths untangles the misinformation, misperceptions and confusion that have confounded the American public and our elected officials. Dr. Garson identifies twenty myths about the U.S. health care system and uses his extensive knowledge and keen insights to blow them apart. diagnoses the health care crisis, addresses and debunks 20 commonly held perceptions, and delivers a system that meets the needs of patients, physicians, and politicians.

Editorial Reviews

Wayne Turnage
I could not put this book down! Every American should read it!
Steven A. Wartman
A realistic perspective on our health care system that is highly informative yet refreshingly optimistic when it comes to needed change.
Henry J. Aaron
How exhilarating it is to read a book on health care policy that dispels delusions—that prevention always saves money, that we can stop growth of health care spending without rationing, that doctors always know what they are doing, that the uninsured and poor always get at least emergency care, and the biggest delusion of all—that there is no politically achievable way to extend health insurance coverage to all Americans.
J. James Rohack MD
Before one can make a cure, one has to get the right diagnosis. This book is an outstanding addition to the debate on fixing American healthcare with its thoughtful exposure of myths with well researched reality. It is a must read for the public, payers, physicians and policy makers.
Jane Woods
Health Care Half-Truths is a great resource for the public and for policy makers as they tackle what has become a mired behemoth—healthcare in America. Whether trying to get in to a doctor, affording the charges, or understanding the systems, healthcare often overwhelms us as consumers as well as those who seek to put forward sound policy. If you want to understand how we got where we are or if you want to start making changes, Health Care Half-Truths is a valuable place to start.
Stuart M. Butler
Health care now accounts for one-sixth of the entire US economy, yet it is misunderstood by almost everyone. By challenging common myths about health care, Garson and Engelhard artfully help readers of all levels of expertise gain a far better appreciation of the strengths as well as the problems of our health care system.
Newt Gingrich
Garson and Engelhard make a fundamental point that all policymakers, business leaders, and healthcare stakeholders must hear: change is possible. Despite all the myths, half truths, and real-world problems, we can build a 21st century intelligent health system that saves lives and saves money for every American. The authors pull no punches, and by doing so make an important and lasting contribution.
David J. Skorton
Health Care Half-Truths is a fascinating book dealing with one of the most important and seemingly intractable issues of our time in the United States: equitable and high quality health care. . . . The book is highly recommended to students and teachers as well as policy makers, health care workers and anyone interested in a deeper understanding of today's health care dilemma.
Grace-Marie Turner
Health Care Half-Truths contributes significantly to the debate over health reform by correcting the biggest myths about health care in the United States. Dr. Garson and Ms. Engehard answer the false perception that the U.S. offers some of the worst health care in the developed world and even that preventive care always saves money, for example. By starting with a clearer diagnosis of the problems in the health sector, they believe policymakers will be able to build on its strengths and correct its weaknesses. The book gives policymakers a big dose of reality to guide their decisions.
Karen Davis
Health Care Half-Truths is a provocative and important book—easy to digest and stimulating to the mind! By challenging the conventional wisdom, it forces all of us to rethink what we know about American health care.
CHOICE - J.E. Thompson
Garson and Engelhard...offer an excellent, well-documented text...the book offers extensive up-to-date references and resources separate from the straightforward text. Summing Up: Recommended. All Levels.
Publishers Weekly

A much-needed dose of realism, this state-of-the-policy report should be required reading for anyone weighing in on the debate over health-care reform, especially students of health policy. Dean Garson and policy analyst Engelhard, both of the University of Virginia's School of Medicine, show how both defenders and opponents of the current American health-care system rely on false truisms and lazy thinking, such as the idea that most health-care dollars are spent in the last six months of life, or that consumer choice automatically improves care. Members of Congress cling to the hope that quality-improvement programs or more preventive care will save enough money to bail out Medicare and other programs, but Garson and Engelhard expose the flaws in these arguments. Thanks largely to its well thought-out structure, this book makes a surprisingly quick read; in the introduction, for example, the authors' myth vs. reality chapter descriptions make for easy browsing and reference. The sheer number of misconceptions exposed and the seemingly intractable dysfunction of the health-care system as a whole result in a sobering tour, but the final chapter proposes some sound, if occasionally controversial, solutions. Though more general readers may balk at some tedious hair-splitting, this title successfully flushes the plaque from the hardened arteries of the country's health-care dialogue. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
American Political Challenges Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 9.39(h) x 1.14(d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Garson, Jr., MD, MPH, is Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Virginia and previously was dean of the University's School of Medicine. He is a member of the National Academics Institute of Medicine. He has served as president of the American College of Cardiology and was appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to chair the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He continues to practice medicine, caring for children with heart disease. Carolyn L. Engelhard, MPA, is assistant professor of medical education and a health policy analyst in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. In addition, she directs the Master of Science program in clinical research and provides technical and consultative services to state health and Medicaid agencies.

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