Our health care system is too far gone for treatment with a single pill.
We need a stiff cocktail of meds - a collection of solutions . . .
for a Sick Health System
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by Randy Stapilus
Ridenbaugh Press (Carlton OR)
September 2009
Price $13.95

As discussion of the American health care system has moved on, it has degenerated in many ways, at best through discussion of legislation and at worst into outright falsehoods. There's been excellent research and writing about specific problems in the system, from malpractice to overtreatment to extortionate insurers, but not much that takes a look at the system as a whole.

That is what 50 Meds seeks to do: Look at the larger picture, at the whole of the system, and consider: How can costs be reduced and spread reasonably so that all Americans can get access to reasonably affordable, safe and useful care?

The answers here are not especially new. (Well, one or two, maybe.) But they are widely scattered, often mentioned only when specific problems or interest groups come up: They have not been gathered together before, with the idea of considering them as a whole. The standard here is simple: Will this idea help us cut costs and better afford health care that is at least as good, and hopefully better, than we have now?

These ideas are not all there is (we originally considered the prospect of 100 Meds). Other useful ideas abound, and many of them could work in concert with those presented here. But 50 Meds seemed a good starting point, a number small enough to grasp easily enough while emphasizing that reform will have to happen in many places, in many ways, if it is do much good. It has to call for changing ways from not just doctors, or insurers, or lawyers, or hospitals, or patients, but all of them - and more.

This is a short book, at 168 pages more a quick overview than a detailed treatise. It was specifically intended that way. This book was developed to encourage a one-sitting overview, to ask people to look at this problem broadly and not operate under the assumption that doing just one or two things will be enough.


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