The Price of Life: The Future of American Health Care

The Price of Life: The Future of American Health Care

The Price of Life: The Future of American Health Care

The Price of Life: The Future of American Health Care

Synopsis

How can America become a healthy nation, Blank asks, when it is beset by poverty, illiteracy, and crime? No new health care system can succeed unless or until the links between social problems and sickness are understood-and addressed. On the national level, Blank calls for a more aggressive redistribution of social and public health resources to the poor and elderly; at the same time, he describes sanctions that would encourage individuals to be more careful about their own health, and limit or change destructive behavior.

Excerpt

This is not another book on how to restructure the American health care system nor does it purport to detail a new means to finance health care. Rather, it is an examination of the public and its perceptions of health care, of life, and the value we place upon it. It argues that the core problems of American health care are not solely economic or even political but instead emerge from a set of uniquely American illusions about health, health care, and the role of government. Before we can hope to build a sustainable and workable system and ensure a healthy population at reasonable cost these illusions must be shattered.

This book is designed to explain what went wrong. Why does the United States stand virtually alone among Western democracies with uncontrolled costs, lack of universal access, and health outcomes that fail to reflect the massive investment in high technology medical care. a spoiled American public, a distorted incentive structure, and continuing social and economic inequities make real reform unlikely.

This book argues for a shift from medical care to health promotion, from individualized medicine to collective health, and from individual . . .

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