For more information on single-payer health coverage, get A Second Opinion: Rescuing Americas’ Health Care: A Plan for Universal Coverage Serving Patients Over Profit By Arnold S. Relman. John Presta.
The U.S. health care system is failing. It is run like a business, increasingly focused on generating income for insurers and providers rather than providing care for patients. It is supported by investors and private markets seeking to grow revenue and resist regulation, thus contributing to higher costs and lessened public accountability. Meanwhile, forty-six million Americans are without insurance. Health care expenditures are rising at a rate of 7 percent a year, three times the rate of inflation. Dr. Arnold Relman is one of the most respected physicians and health care advocates in our country. This book, based on sixty years experience in medicine, is a clarion call not just to politicans and patients but to the medical profession to evolve a new structure for healthcare, based on voluntary private contracts between individuals and not-for-profit, multi-specialty groups of physicians. Physicians would be paid mainly by salaries and would submit no bills for their services. All health care facilities would be not-for-profit. The savings from reduced administrative overhead and the elimination of billing fraud would be enormous. Health care may be our greatest national problem, but the provocative, sensible arguments in this book will provide a catalyst for change.
A note from ARNOLD RELMAN
I wrote this book because I had to. During more than sixty years as a physician, I have seen the practice of medicine transformed from what was primarily a profession to what is now mainly a business. I have seen our health care system change from a social service to a rapidly growing industry that consumes almost a sixth of our economy and is straining the resources of all who must pay for its services.
I have been privileged to enjoy a uniquely varied professional career as a medical practitioner, consultant, educator and researcher, an officer or trustee in national societies and health care institutions, a medical journal editor and, most recently, a member of a state medical licensing and regulatory board. All of this experience has convinced me that American health care, despite its scientific and clinical achievements, is failing to meet some of its most important obligations to society. I believe that certain major reforms are urgently needed, and that the public and the profession, when they understand the facts, will want these reforms.
This book describes what has been happening to our health care system, explains why I am persuaded it must change substantially, and suggests the direction these changes should take. It is a personal manifesto, I suppose, but it is also intended to be a fact-based, readable assessment of one of our greatest domestic problems. If I have done my job, this book should be a useful resource for the many coming debates on health care policy.
About the Author
Dr. Arnold S. Relman is Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and the former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. He received his M.D. from Columbia University in 1946, and has taught at distinguished medical schools including Boston University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. He was appointed by The White House to serve on the Health Professionals Review Group and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve on the Board of Registration in Medicine. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Dr. Arnold S. Relman is Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and the former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. He received his M.D. from Columbia University in 1946, and has taught at distinguished medical schools including Boston University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. He was appointed by The White House to serve on the Health Professionals Review Group and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve on the Board of Registration in Medicine. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.