HEALTHY, WEALTHY, AND WISE: Five Steps to a Better Healthcare System (second edition)

By R. Glenn Hubbard, John F. Cogan, Daniel P. Kessler

Health care in the United States has made remarkable advances during the past forty years. Yet our health care system also has several well-known problems: high costs, significant numbers of people without insurance, and glaring gaps in quality and efficiency—and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is not the answer. This second edition of Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise details a better approach, offering fundamental reform alternatives centering on tax changes, insurance market changes, and redesigning Medicare and Medicaid.

The book proposes five specific reforms to improve the ability of markets to create a lower-cost, higher-quality health care system that is responsive to the needs of individuals, including increasing individual involvement, deregulating insurance markets and redesigning Medicare and Medicaid, improving availability and quality of information, enhancing competition, and reforming the malpractice system. The authors show that, by promoting cost-conscious behavior and competition in both private markets and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, we can slow the rate of growth of health care costs, expand access to high-quality health care, and slow down runaway spending.

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"Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise clearly explains what we must do to transform health and health care in America. The authors’ proposals will undoubtedly improve the quality of health care, insure more Americans, and save billions of dollars. Every policymaker in government and every decision maker in the corporations that pay for so much of America’s health care should read this important book-and then act on its recommendations." – Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and founder of the Center for Health Transformation

"This thoughtful and comprehensive set of proposals for addressing the failings of health-care markets, and the careful analysis of their likely impacts on spending, the uninsured, and the federal budget should be required reading by all participants in the health-care policy debate. These proposals provide a map of the roads that must be traveled to make our health-care markets work more efficiently and equitably, and forestall greater government intervention." – Robert D. Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute

"It is well known that the tax code distorts the way our health-care markets work and encourages wasteful spending. Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise does an exemplary job of making a frontal attack on this problem. It proposes fundamental reforms to the tax code that the authors argue, persuasively, will lead people to make better choices about their health- care spending. The result would cut spending and promote greater competition based on price and quality." – Mark V. Pauly, Bendheim Professor; professor of Health Care Systems, Business and Public Policy, Insurance and Risk Management, and Economics, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania