Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Health Care Reform

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"What would real healthcare reform look like? And how can everyday Americans trump big money and put healthcare back on track? Howard Dean speaks out."The success of healthcare reform legislation rises and falls on whether the American public is allowed to opt into a universally available public healthcare program, like Medicare, or not. If Congress issues a bill that gives Americans a public option, then there will be real healthcare reform. If not, we could be back fighting about it for another 20 years before ...

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Overview

"What would real healthcare reform look like? And how can everyday Americans trump big money and put healthcare back on track? Howard Dean speaks out."The success of healthcare reform legislation rises and falls on whether the American public is allowed to opt into a universally available public healthcare program, like Medicare, or not. If Congress issues a bill that gives Americans a public option, then there will be real healthcare reform. If not, we could be back fighting about it for another 20 years before anybody tries again."
--Howard Dean

Americans have pondered how to reform healthcare since the days of Harry Truman. But, for most Americans, little has changed--except that healthcare costs have soared, health insurance companies have grown richer, and, today, even those Americans who pay dearly for health insurance frequently find that their policies don't adequately cover them when they need their coverage most.

Something has got to give. In his bold, new book, Howard Dean-the physician and former governor widely credited for reviving the Democratic Party after the 2004 elections-tells Americans what needs to be done to successfully reform healthcare. One key, he writes, is to offer Americans the option to participate in a public healthcare program, much like Medicare. "America has had 'socialized' medicine since 1964," says Dean. "It's called Medicare; it covers every American over 65, and the majority of them are happy with the program. The rest of America deserves a similar option."

In this straight-talking guide to rising above today's healthcare crisis, Dean spells out:

  • What Obama's healthcare plan is all about
  • How other countries handle healthcare
  • Which special interests are standing in the way of progress and why
  • How healthcare reform will help American businesses prosper
  • Why Americans need choice--between private or public health coverage

Millions of Americans lack health insurance; millions more pay for coverage that doesn't protect them from serious illness; and the status quo leaves Americans at the mercy of corporate interests. In this persuasive argument from a passionate political strategist, Americans learn how to take back the healthcare reins.

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  • Howard Dean, MD
    Howard Dean, MD  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dean's book, published earlier this month, is the single best vehicle I've seen so far to get a good sense of what this health care reform means. He describes in prose that is, at once genial, straightforward and simple, the whole range of issues. All of the questions above, and more, are answered in a clear fashion. The book is remarkable for taking a reform plan that has befuddled so many Americans, and making it seem incredibly simple."--People's Weekly World

"Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform should be required reading for every American over the age of 18. This is the most comprehensive and accessible presentation of a situation that deeply affects each one of us."--Dindy Yokel, Examiner.com

Mcjoan, DailyKos.com-
Dean makes an excellent and extremely readable case for why substantive, structural reform isn't just necessary, it's imperative for the nation's economic recovery in the short term, and for establishing an economic base to build a sustainable future. He talks about something that has rarely come up in this debate so focused on the 47 million Americans without insurance--the 25 million who have insurance but don't get regular medical care because they can only afford catastrophic care coverage. He talks about the cost to American businesses--small and large--in trying to keep up with the the cost of insuring themselves and their employees--costs that have risen 119 percent in the past decade.

He, along with co-authors Faiz Shakir from Center for American Progress and Igor Volsky from Think Progress's Wonk Room, provides the reader with all the information she needs to argue for a) the necessity for real reform, and b) the key elements for that reform. That includes a chapter on the myths (aka, the Frank Luntz talking points) the right-wing is using in the debate, and the facts that rebut every one of those myths. Here's the three authors talking about just that.

All of these facts, figures, and talking points are provided in the book for one reason, and it's a familiar one coming from Gov. Dean: to provide you with all the ammunition you need to help get real reform enacted. Anyone who reads this book will be able to talk intelligently and convincingly about a broad range of healthcare related topics, from how various industrialized European countries provide this public good to why his most controversial idea for funding reform, a carbon tax, actually makes sense. All this is to get you out there talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about healthcare reform; calling your representatives, writing letters to the editor; calling into talk shows and cable shows. As he says in the book, "Successful political campaigns never stop."

Publishers Weekly-
As both a Democratic Party standard bearer and a former practicing physician, Gov. Dean (You Have the Power, Winning Back America) has placed himself at the forefront of grass-roots organizing for healthcare reform. In a searing indictment of private insurers who put profits ahead of care, Dean advocates a public-health insurance option, posing the question: "Is private health insurance really health insurance? Or is it simply an extension of the things that have been happening on Wall Street?" Charts illustrate the disadvantages faced by U.S. industry against competitors in other countries, and dovetail with his plan for "healthcare reform, not just insurance reform," including more preventative medicine, home-care for seniors, standards set by medical professionals rather than insurers; ultimately, he concludes, the result would be lower costs and better medicine. Dean is most controversial when he proposes to fund reforms with a carbon tax on gasoline, and only slightly less so when asserting that a "reform bill is not worth passing" without a public option. This lively, detailed read should help shape the debate on one of the year's most pressing issues.

Publishers Weekly
As a both a Democratic Party standard bearer and a former practicing physician, Gov. Dean (You Have the Power, Winning Back America) has placed himself at the forefront of grass-roots organizing for healthcare reform. In a searing indictment of private insurers who put profits ahead of care, Dean advocates a public-health insurance option, posing the question: "Is private health insurance really health insurance? Or is it simply an extension of the things that have been happening on Wall Street?" Charts illustrate the disadvantages faced by U.S. industry against competitors in other countries, and dovetail with his plan for "healthcare reform, not just insurance reform," including more preventative medicine, home-care for seniors, standards set by medical professionals rather than insurers; ultimately, he concludes, the result would be lower costs and better medicine. Dean is most controversial when he proposes to fund reforms with a carbon tax on gasoline, and only slightly less so when asserting that a "reform bill is not worth passing" without a public option. This lively, detailed read should help shape the debate on one of the year's most pressing issues.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603582285
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/15/2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Dean—physician and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—served six terms as Governor of Vermont before running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in the 2004 election. Dean also founded Democracy for America (DFA), the grassroots organization that organizes community activists, trains campaign staff, and endorses progressive candidates. While he was Vermont's governor, the state expanded its universal healthcare program to cover nearly every child under age 18—and also lowered its public debt, balanced its budget, and reduced taxes.

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Table of Contents

1. The trouble with private health insurance
2. Healthcare reform is business reform
3. Our responsibility
4. The starter pack : fundamental elements of healthcare reform
5. President Obama's healthcare plan
6. Reform without a public health insurance option is not real reform
7. How to control costs
8. How to pay for all this
9. Why is this so hard to pass?
10. The black hats : special interests and other opposition
11. Healthcare reform is not a new idea
12. How do other countries do it?
13. Eleven myths
14. Know the bottom line
15. Meet your neighbors : you may be one of them
16. What you can do for your neighbors, your country, and yourself

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Customer Reviews

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( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Doc Dean lays out Prescription for National Reform

    Sometimes the patient doesn't like getting advice but they need to hear it. Other times people have a knee jerk reaction and resort to platitudes but Dr Dean, former Governor of Vermont lays out in a clear succinct manner the case for reform.

    You can agree or disagree with the solution but for me (an independent) this is the first time I have seen a coherent argument that it is the sheer size of this sector and the abject failure of free market conditions that requires the government to step in and level the playing field for consumers.

    He is also clear however that the public subsidy has to be self-sufficient to keep politics out of it (aka the drug doughnut in medicare) and reminds us that we already have the money to pay for this (since when people without insurance get sick and end up in the hospital we already do pay for their care). He identifies sources of savings (about 4 percent of every dollar that goes into Medicare is spent on administration. In the private sector, that number is between 12 percent and 50 percent.)

    He gives lots of examples of why our current system is financial unsustainable. Toyota and Ford moving factories to Canada because the health care costs are less for them there but his main contribution is straight forward analysis and some creative ideas (a gas tax to pay for health care) from a doctor with an understanding of politics to the conversation.

    I don't agree with everything he says, nor some of his politics but this is a review of the book not of the author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    What is really going on with America's healthcare system, and what Barack Obama's healthcare reform bill is all about.

    Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform tackles the American healthcare system from all angles. As a physician, Dean has seen first hand what happens to citizens when they need their health insurance the most. They are dropped as soon as they start costing money. Also, with Deans political career as a former governor for Vermont, he really has a really unique understanding and perhaps has one of the best understandings of healthcare in American politics. Now America has many problems and things have worsened since the recession has started. As of right now America is ranked last in many aspects of health. We spend the most money but have the worst quality. In our current recesion we are losing jobs. As the jobs lost number rises, so does the number of Americans who lose their health insurance. In this book, Dean explains what has been happening in our current system and how we can acheive affordable healthcare for every American. He lays out a very realistic and sensible approach for solving this problem. Now he has done his part, and Congress is doing theirs, but it comes down to the citizens. I didn't think I'd enjoy the book at first, but I most definitely did. I feel much better now that I have some background in healthcare reform, especially since it is one of the major political debates in America today. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing what they would have under Barack Obama's healthcare plan. I knew that America was in bad shape, but this book and its facts really opens the eyes.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Best explanation of health care reform yet.

    Regardless of what you think about health care reform efforts, you need to get this perspective. It may not change your mind, but it certainly did for me.

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  • Posted October 15, 2009

    Howard Dean's book "Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform" is typical.

    Party line right down to the public option. Health care reform is necessary, I agree. But solving it with absurd things like "wellness programs" (which has been around for many years) and public options only creates bigger inept gov't programs.
    The fact of the matter is this: Find a solution to funding issue and everything else will fall into place. The problem with Dean's book, it is bias, not well thought out and unoriginal. It avoids the issue of who and how will pay for the plan, which in my opinion is a critical component of a successful health care plan. The fact of the matter is that we all have to pay for it. A special effort will be necessary to obtain the cooperation from the many entities that the issue touches. The income stream that will be necessary to pay for any kind of plan must be sustainable and reliable. Dean's book never even goes there.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    Legislators: Please read before voting.

    Short, but to the point! I thought Dr.Dean did a good job of enumerating the problems and possible solutions to the healthcare reform situation. I especially liked the comparison of the various healthcare models in other countries. He gave facts and figures and was well researched.

    My only wish would be that every legislator would read this before they vote. We need a change. It would be nice if for once change took into account the people it is meant to serve, and not big business as usual.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    Recommended.

    Honest leader who has dedicated his life to helping Americans receive health care.

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    Posted July 30, 2009

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    Posted August 15, 2009

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