The Limits of Health Reform: The Search for Realism

The Limits of Health Reform: The Search for Realism

The Limits of Health Reform: The Search for Realism

The Limits of Health Reform: The Search for Realism

Excerpt

IN OUR society, it is still the citizens who, through their voice in the marketplace and in the legislature, ultimately determine how their money will be allocated. By deciding to devote 8.6 percent of its earnings to the health care industry -- an industry that employs one out of twenty members of the work force -- the American public has thus clearly indicated the importance it attaches to that industry's output.

This book does not pick up the challenge of the anti-establishment group, which contends that ever larger expenditures on health care will not buy freedom from disability or significantly extend an individual's life. Rather it has a narrower focus: to lead the reader through the processes of attempted health reform during the past three decades in an effort to deepen his understanding of what we ventured, where we succeeded, where we failed, and why. When we have learned about the recent past, we should be in a better position to formulate realistic goals for improving our health care system and to avoid unduly high expectations that can lead only to frustration.

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