Review

Twenty years ago on a cold November night, I was one of two nurses called into the operating room were the team preformed a c-section and delivered a healthy baby boy. While waiting for the mother to recover, I picked up a copy of JAMA in the doctors lounge, there I found an article authored by some PHD entitled: Stop the Charade. It was the authors contention if we made all the non-profit charter hospitals in the country for profit the government would save enough money (eliminating the tax subsidies) to buy every American health care insurance.

Twenty years later author Regina Herzlinger MD PHD echoes this same strategy combined with other comprehensive solutions for curing the health care debacle infecting our nation. In her book: Who Killed Health Care. Dr Herzlinger identifies the culpable players who have brought havoc upon us; government bureaucrats that exorcise legislative powers to manipulate markets, technocrats who employ statistics to homogenize variables into one size fits all diagnoses, and industry lobbyists, special interest peddlers who know how to oil the system with campaign contributions.

Dr. Herzlinger provides a compelling argument in favor of consumer driven health care. She has cut through the complexity of this out of control industry identifying the problems and offering competent solutions to put healthcare back in the hands of consumers, physicians and health care professionals.

Meet Jack Morgan and follow his tragic demise. Learn how our bloated bureaucratic health care system failed him, and how his needless death could have been avoided. Learn how consumer driven health care could have enhanced his quality of life and saved him. Dr. Herzlinger demonstrates how this clandestine industry operates, how knowledge is power in the hands of the few; and a lack of transparency keeps consumers in the fog inhibiting their ability to make informed decisions regarding their own health care. She provides compelling analogies; consumer driven industries not so different from health care that thrive in a free market.

Learn why we dump our hard earned dollars into employer health care plans without question, or benefit of choice. Learn how everyone can benefit in a transparent marketplace, how competition enhances insurance company performance, while simultaneously driving down costs associated with delivery; spurring innovation while simultaneously improving the quality of health care. Learn how transparency growths technology, how risk adjusted insurance plans for specific illnesses aimed at prevention are part of solution.

Consumer driven health care is capitalism at it’s finest; encouraging healthy competition between insurance companies, hospitals, and physician groups all vying for our health care dollars. It is this competition in a free market that will resuscitate the health care industry, add value, and drive down cost.

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