Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America

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America spends more than any other developed nation on healthcare—$2.1 trillion in 2007 alone. But 47 million Americans remain uninsured, and of those Americans who are insured, many suffer from poor health. In his ground-breaking proposal, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel offers up a plan to comprehensively restructure the delivery and quality of our healthcare. By eliminating employer-healthcare and establishing an independent program to evaluate healthcare plans and insurance companies, he offers a no-nonsense guide to how government can institute private insurance options that will allow each of us a choice of doctor and plan.

With the rate of healthcare costs rapidly outpacing our gross domestic product, we can no longer afford to maintain our fragmented delivery of care, or entertain reforms that seek to patch, rather than cure, a fractured system. Accessible, straightforward, and revolutionary in its approach, Healthcare, Guaranteed is an inarguable guide to lasting healthcare reform.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Financial Times
"The best of recent books on this question is happily the shortest and clearest and comes out this month. I think it has the answer. The proposal laid out in Healthcare, Guaranteed by Ezekiel Emanuel ... has convinced me. Whether it will convince others is in doubt for reasons I will come to. But if you are going to read one book on the subject, make it Mr. Emanuel's."

The Spine
“How to Fix Healthcare: Readers may recall an article by Ezekiel Emanuel and Nobel Laureate in Economics Victor Fuchs in TNR a while ago about their truly brilliant and, in my view, ineluctable proposal for paying for basic health care in America. Some time later we alluded in an editorial to the provocation of their plan to all the other policy contortions that pass as the foundations of legislation. Zeke has now expanded this work into a book, Healthcare, Guaranteed, published by PublicAffairs. By the way, he has a PhD in political philosophy from Harvard and an MD from the Harvard Medical School, and is now chairman of the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Years ago, he started his career as an intern at The New Republic. What a story that would make: those who began right here. In any case, Clive Crook has written a rave review, a truly rave review of the book in Monday's Financial Times. Before you read the review and the book, you should know that at the base of the financial plan is a value-added tax. This is one value-added tax that you might like.”

Newsweek, June 1, 2008
"This Monday a modest little paperback will show up in bookstores offering a suggestion for health-care reform. It won't contain any wrenching human stories like those in last year's big health-care book, Jonathan Cohn's "Sick." It won't be accompanied by gonzo stunts à la Michael Moore's "Sicko." But "Healthcare, Guaranteed," by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, may nonetheless be the most exciting book yet to come out of the country's medical crisis. What it offers is a radical yet straightforward proposal, one a layperson can understand. If the complexities of health-care policy give you a headache, this book is aspirin. Read it twice and call your congressman in the morning."

Ezra Klein, American Prospect, August 12, 2008
Healthcare, Guaranteed is beautifully written. It describes many flaws of American healthcare with maddening clarity. Some of its building blocks should be included in anyone’s health plan”

New England Journal of Medicine, August 21, 2008
"Healthcare, Guaranteed is a broad discussion of pervasive problems in our health care system, and it lays out a comprehensive plan to remedy them...Policymakers and all Americans troubled by [the system's] injustices will find Healthcare, Guaranteed a valuable resource for considering solutions to our health care dilemmas."

New York Times, 33: Zeke and book featured in piece about Obama’s health policy team
“Another influential voice at the White House is that of Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, an oncologist and medical ethicist. Dr. Emanuel, a brother of Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, is working for Mr. Orszag and is sometimes described as the kibitzer-in-chief on health policy….In a book published last year, for example, Dr. Emanuel proposed “a guaranteed health care access plan,” under which all Americans would receive vouchers to enroll in health plans offering a standard package of benefits like those available to members of Congress. The program would be administered by a National Health Board, modeled on the Federal Reserve Board….”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586486624
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 5/26/2008
  • Pages: 219
  • Sales rank: 371,837
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is the Chair of the Department of Bioethics at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health and a breast oncologist. A visiting professor at the UCLA, John Hopkins Medical School, and Stanford Medical School, and the author of several books, he lives in Evanston, Illinois.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Victor R. Fuchs Fuchs, Victor R.

Ch. 1 Beyond Anecdotes 1

Ch. 2 The Goals of Reform 15

Ch. 3 History and Havoc: Diagnosis of the Problem 41

Ch. 4 The Guaranteed Healthcare Access Plan: A Comprehensive Cure 81

Ch. 5 Band-Aids Are Not Enough 117

Ch. 6 The Mistake of Mandates 137

Ch. 7 Single-Payer Plans: An Outdated Solution for Modern Medicine 153

Ch. 8 Opening the Door to Comprehensive Change: Will the System Get Better? When? How? 171

Further Reading 191

Acknowledgments 201

About the Author 203

Index 205

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2008

    Excellent Explanation of Our Current Healthcare Delivery System's Problems and a Possible Solution

    As a retired private practice physician, I read and highly recommend Ezekiel Emanuel's book Health Guaranteed. The author is a practicing physician (breast oncologist) who outlines a very well thought-out system to fix many of the problems with our health care system. He compares the plan he and Victor Fuchs have designed, Guaranteed Healthcare Access, to other types of reform that have been proposed for the USA (incremental reform, mandates, and "single payer"). He also explains briefly how we arrived at our health care delivery and financing system. Furthermore, he explains that it is the system, not the individuals who work within the system, that is to blame for the serious flaws. A major problem with our system is the reliance on employers for financing. If you do not see the problem here, the book explains it. Another major problem is the reliance on a fee-for-service system. While this criticism traditionally gets huge hoots from practicing physicians, his arguments are very difficult to dispute. He further argues convincingly that this program is superior to any other proposal, and that establishing it piecemeal will not be effective. I was convinced that more of the same will eventually bankrupt us. <BR/>Incoming Presidential Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel's smarter brother's proposal includes: 1. guaranteed coverage (mandates and incremental reform fail here) 2. effective cost controls (mandates and incremental reform fail here, too) 3. high quality coordinated care (incremental reform unlikely be effective; mandates and "single-payer" fail here) 4. choice of plans and providers (incremental reform and mandates only help some here, "single-payer" doesn't) 5. fair funding (mandates and incremental reforms fail here, and no fair funding proposal has been proposed for single payer) 6. reasonable dispute resolution (no such solution has been offered with mandates, single-payer, or incremental reforms, and here even Emanuel's plan is not bullet-proof) 7. economic revitalization (none of the other plans address this adequately) Emanuel and Fuch's GHA proposal completely removes healthcare financing from employers, freeing them to do what they do best. <BR/>Dr. Emanuel answers so many questions that I cannot start to list them here. I kept reacting "yeah, but what about...?" and then he would answer. My only complaint is that for as short as the book is, it could have been much shorter, given the content. It is very repetitive, but I understand that part of its design must be to sell an idea which has been presented and refined in recent years. I do wish he had compared and contrasted it with the existing systems of other developed countries (especially recently designed ones like Taiwan and Switzerland), but I will have to find that information elsewhere. <BR/>Given his connections, I trust that he will be given an opportunity to try to sell his plan to HHS Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, since it appears that Daschle's plan (I haven't read his book yet) is only an incremental reform plan, the likes of which Emanuel convincingly argues have always failed to solve the serious problems of our healthcare finance and delivery system.

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  • Posted December 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Enlightening but not mind boggling

    Dr. Emanuel does a wonderful job of presenting many of the problems the current American health care system faces, and he puts forth a number of well thought out and eloquently presented solutions. The book is short enough for the casual reader, but broad enough to give the reader an understanding that is not limited only to a certain portion of health care.<BR/><BR/>Although, as forward by Victor R. Fuchs states, "The devil is in the details", Dr. Emanuel did not seem to provide the reader with enough details regarding the implementation of many of his solutions. For example, Dr. Emanuel expresses a need for "High-Quality, Coordinated Care" in American health care, but he fails to express exactly how The Guaranteed Health Care Access Plan (his proposed solution to the current health care mess) would provide for it.<BR/><BR/>That flaw aside, Dr. Emanuel is a credible author who comes from the health care field. He has many innovative and feasible ideas, and he proposes a well thought out plan to clean up the American health care mess.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2009

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