Lives at Risk: Single-Payer National Health Insurance Around the World / Edition 1

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Virtually everyone agrees that our health care system needs reform. But what kind of reform? Some want a return to the system that prevailed in the 1950s. Others would like to see the adaptation of the government-run systems prevalent in other countries. The latter, national health insurance or single-payer health insurance, appears to be gaining ground in the United States. Before Americans find themselves participating in a health care system that has failed in every country it was adopted, we should be asking ourselves whether such a system is effective and efficient. In Lives at Risk, the authors examine the critical failures of national health insurance systems without focusing on minor blemishes or easily correctable problems. In doing so, the purpose is to identify the problems common to all countries with national health insurance and to explain why these problems emerge. Most national health care systems are in a state of sustained internal crisis as costs rise and the stated goals of universal access and quality care are not met. In almost all cases, the reason is the same: the politics of medicine. The problems of government-run health care systems flow inexorably from the fact that they are government-run rather than market driven.

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Editorial Reviews

Thoroughly examines the systemic failures of national health insurance programs around the world. It identifies problems inherent in government-run health care and explains why these problems inevitably emerge. And, it demolishes one by one the prevailing myths put forward by advocates of national health insurance as the solution to issues confronting American health care.
National Review
Anybody who is tempted by the Canada [single-payer health insurance] model should read Lives at Risk.
JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
If you're looking for intellectual ammunition to refute the perennial myths about the triumph of socialized medicine in the rest of the developed world, this book is essential.
Health Insurance Underwriter
Goodman, Musgrave and Herrick do not just make a hard-boiled assessment of single-payer systems, then run for cover. Instead of the usual worn-out generalities and obsolete assumptions, they point to specific ways to harness the intelligence of consumers and the power of the free market to improve health care in the U.S.. Regardless of whether the reader agrees with the authors' conclusions, Lives at Risk helps us to understand how different policy approaches might lead to two very different outcomes for the U.S. health care system: complete meltdown under single-payer health care or transformation into a system driven by consumer demand instead of health care bureaucrats and political expediency.
Goodman and company's book does an especially good job of casting doubt on the common belief that more governmental control of health care will prove more rational, productive, and fair than our current market-state mix.
Donald J. Palmisano
The American Medical Association strongly opposes single-payer national health insurance. Lives at Risk provides a wealth of evidence that confirms the AMA's position.
Newt Gingrich
This book will be an eye-opener for anyone who thinks a government-run system is the solution for our health care problem.
Kenneth H. Cooper
With the alarming escalation in the cost of health care, drastic changes are critically needed. Lives at Risk not only presents the magnitude of this problem, but explores possible solutions, including national insurance, to correct it. This is the best book I have read on this subject.
from the Foreword by Milton Friedman
A single-payer system has great political appeal. It promises to provide quality health care to all, regardless of income, religion, race, or initial state of health. But does it live up to that promise? In this important book, Goodman, Musgrave, and Herrick set out to find the answer.
JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
If you're looking for intellectual ammunition to refute the perennial myths about the triumph of socialized medicine in the rest of the developed world, this book is essential.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742541528
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Goodman is the founder and president of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The Wall Street Journal called Dr. Goodman "the father of Medical Savings Accounts," and National Journal declared him "winner of the devolution derby" because his ideas on ways to transfer power from government to the people have had a significant impact on Capitol Hill. He is the author of seven books. Gerald L. Musgrave is president of Economics America, Inc., a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and a fellow at the National Association of Business Economists and chairman of its Health Economics Roundtable. Dr. Musgrave has written widely on health care and other issues and is the author or co-author of more than 60 publications. Devon M. Herrick is senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 I Twenty Myths Chapter 2 Rights Chapter 3 Equality Chapter 4 Needs Chapter 5 Outcomes Chapter 6 Technology Chapter 7 Quality Chapter 8 Costs Chapter 9 Efficiency Chapter 10 Unnecessary Care Chapter 11 Administrative Costs Chapter 12 Priorities Chapter 13 Prevention Chapter 14 Managed Care Chapter 15 International Competitiveness Chapter 16 The Elderly Chapter 17 Minorities Chapter 18 Rural Areas Chapter 19 Prescription Drugs Chapter 20 Public Opinion Chapter 21 Reform Part 22 II The Politics and Economics of Health Care Systems Chapter 23 The Politics of Medicine Chapter 24 Is Managed Competition the Answer? Part 25 III Reforming the U.S. Health Care System Chapter 26 Designing an Ideal Health Care System Chapter 27 Designing Ideal Health Insurance

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