Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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."
"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
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.
About 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 nation's 2004 election. Dean also founded Democracy for America (DFA), the grassroots organization that organizes activists in local communities, trains campaign staff, and endorses progressive candidates. Recently, Dean launched a DFA healthcare reform campaign-pushing legislators to give Americans a public healthcare option. While he was Vermont's governor, the state expanded its universal healthcare program for children and pregnant women-and also lowered its public debt, balanced its budget 11 times, and reduced income taxes.