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Eight Questions You Should Ask about Our Health Care System (Even If the Answers Make You Sick)

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Eight Questions You Should Ask about Our Health Care System (Even If the Answers Make You Sick) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The U.S. health-care sector is an amazing endeavor. It produces about one-sixth of the U.S. gross domestic product. If viewed as a separate country, it would rank as the seventh-largest economy in the world. But despite our outspending the rest of the world for medical care, our health outcomes are depressingly low. Whether measured by life expectancy at birth or the more-responsive infant death rate, we are not getting as much “bang for the buck” as other nations’ health-care systems produce. This discrepancy between spending and outcomes drives much of the concern about our health-care system. Why does the system work the way it does? In this book, Charles E. Phelps provides a comprehensive look at our current health-care system and the behaviors of its major players: consumers, providers, and the government.

Phelps discusses how health insurance changes medical use and suggests various ways to control costs. He outlines the good things about the health-care system—such as the benefits that advances in technology have provided—but also shows that the system has demonstrated large-scale confusion about whom to treat and how intensively to treat them. The author also underscores some of the worst things about the system: such as how everything about our health financing system seems purposefully designed to keep everybody, patients in particular, in the dark about how much various treatments cost—a problem exacerbated by the generosity of the insurance coverage held by many people. He suggests that fixing this problem requires some mix of incentives,

Rules, and information and that all of these must improve for both providers and consumers.

Perhaps the biggest problem, Phelps explains, derives from our own unhealthy behaviors. He reveals the hard truth that our own lifestyle choices are the primary true causes of our illness and death. Thus, he explains, it turns out that one of the best ways to improve the population’s health is to improve education. It may well be that the most powerful health reform we can enact would be to fix our K-12 educational system.

Synopsis:

A comprehensive look at our health-care system, including how the current system evolved, how the health-care sector behaves, and a detailed analysis of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” parts of the system.

 

 

Synopsis:

To comprehend the likely consequences of federal health-care legislation and the private-sector response, it is important to understand how the current system evolved and learn some details about how the health-care sector behaves. In Eight Questions You Should Ask about Our Health Care System (Even if the Answers Make You Sick), Charles E. Phelps provides a comprehensive look at our health-care system, including a detailed analysis of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” parts of the system—from technological advances (the “good”) to variations in treatment patterns (the “bad”) to hidden costs and perverse incentives (the “ugly”).

 

Phelps shows that our system seems deliberately to make it difficult for people to understand and react to incentives in our health care and details the specific complications our federal tax system creates in these matters. He provides examples of how incentives alter the behavior of doctors, hospitals, and other health-care providers and shows why the system will remain both costly and ineffective until we fix the incentives. Perhaps most important, he reveals that much of the cost of health care ultimately derives from our own lifestyle choices and thus that education may well be the most powerful form of health reform we can envision.

 

Charles E. Phelps is University Professor and Provost Emeritus at the University of Rochester.

Synopsis:

Charles E. Phelps provides a comprehensive look at our health-care system, including how the current system evolved, how the health-care sector behaves, and a detailed analysis of the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the system--from technological advances (the good) to variations in treatment patterns (the bad) to hidden costs and perverse incentives (the ugly). He shows that much of the cost of health care ultimately derives from our own lifestyle choices and thus that education may well be the most powerful form of health reform we can envision.

About the Author

Charles E. Phelps is University Professor and Provost Emeritus at the University of Rochester.

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Raisian

Preface

Acknowledgments

CHAPTER ONE

How Did We Get into this Mess, and Why Will It Get Worse?

CHAPTER TWO

When Is Less Insurance Better than More?

CHAPTER THREE

How Does Good Technology Go Bad? A Tale of Two Cities (and More)

CHAPTER FOUR

Why Is the Employer-Paid Foundation of Health Insurance Riddled with Termites?

CHAPTER FIVE

Do Dollars Distort Doctor’s Decisions?

CHAPTER SIX

Why Are We All Killing Ourselves? 105

CHAPTER SEVEN

Why Is Our K–12 Educational System a Public Health Menace?

CHAPTER EIGHT

Where Does the Congress Miss Opportunities and Hit Potholes?

References

About the Author

About the Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780817910549
Author:
Phelps, Charles E.
Publisher:
Hoover Institution Press
Subject:
Health Care Delivery
Subject:
Health Policy
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Medical Specialties
Subject:
Health Care Issues
Edition Description:
1st Edition
Series:
Hoover Institution Press Publication
Publication Date:
20100831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
162
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Politics of Health Care
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Eight Questions You Should Ask about Our Health Care System (Even If the Answers Make You Sick) New Hardcover
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Product details 162 pages Hoover Institute Press Book Division - English 9780817910549 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

A comprehensive look at our health-care system, including how the current system evolved, how the health-care sector behaves, and a detailed analysis of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” parts of the system.

 

 

"Synopsis" by ,

To comprehend the likely consequences of federal health-care legislation and the private-sector response, it is important to understand how the current system evolved and learn some details about how the health-care sector behaves. In Eight Questions You Should Ask about Our Health Care System (Even if the Answers Make You Sick), Charles E. Phelps provides a comprehensive look at our health-care system, including a detailed analysis of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” parts of the system—from technological advances (the “good”) to variations in treatment patterns (the “bad”) to hidden costs and perverse incentives (the “ugly”).

 

Phelps shows that our system seems deliberately to make it difficult for people to understand and react to incentives in our health care and details the specific complications our federal tax system creates in these matters. He provides examples of how incentives alter the behavior of doctors, hospitals, and other health-care providers and shows why the system will remain both costly and ineffective until we fix the incentives. Perhaps most important, he reveals that much of the cost of health care ultimately derives from our own lifestyle choices and thus that education may well be the most powerful form of health reform we can envision.

 

Charles E. Phelps is University Professor and Provost Emeritus at the University of Rochester.

"Synopsis" by , Charles E. Phelps provides a comprehensive look at our health-care system, including how the current system evolved, how the health-care sector behaves, and a detailed analysis of the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the system--from technological advances (the good) to variations in treatment patterns (the bad) to hidden costs and perverse incentives (the ugly). He shows that much of the cost of health care ultimately derives from our own lifestyle choices and thus that education may well be the most powerful form of health reform we can envision.
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