ABOUT THIS BOOK
Chronic Condition provides a compelling analysis of the causes of the current health care crisis and of the shortcomings of reform proposals. It also offers an ingenious new framework for reform that, while minimizing government interference, would provide a means for financing care for the less affluent.
Sherry Glied shows that rising health care spending is consistent with a rising standard of living. Since we can, as a nation, afford more health care, reform must address not the overall level of health care costs but the distribution of health care spending.
Prior reform proposals, Glied argues, have failed to account for the tension between the clearly manifested desire for improving the quality of health care and the equally widespread interest in assuring that the less fortunate share in these improvements. After careful analysis of the ill-fated Clinton plan, Glied proposes a new solution that would make the willingness to pay for innovation the means of financing health care improvements for the less affluent. While rejecting the idea that the distribution of health care should be perfectly equal, Glied's proposal would enable all Americans to benefit from the dynamics of the free market.
[Chronic Condition] provides an analysis of the causes of the current US healthcare crisis and of the shortcomings of reform proposals. [The book] also offers an imaginative framework for reform that, while minimizing government interference, would provide a means for financing care for the less affluent.
-- International Security [UK]Review
From 1992 to 1993, Sherry Glied was one of 500 members of President Clinton's health reform task force and health economics advisor to the chair of the president's Council of Economic Advisors...This book is, indeed, an insider's view, but not of the events leading to the failure of the Clinton proposal. Instead, we find an economist's critique of standard approaches to system reform. The failure of the president's ambitious plan, argues Glied, was not the result of an inept administration, but was rooted in the limitations of the reforms under consideration. The types of proposals that have framed the reform agenda are not capable of solving the fundamental problems of the health care system...[Glied] offers a very useful summary of the two major schools of health reform--the single-payer system versus a managed-competition model--and introduces an effective mechanism for exploring the recent history of health policy formation. In doing so, Glied provides a wealth of information on the details of health care costs...This analysis provides the background for understanding both the failure of reform attempts and the foundation of the solution that she offers...In all, this is a very good book. It provides an excellent overview as well as a wealth of detail. It also offers an understanding of the technical difficulties inherent in any health reform strategy.
-- Beth Mintz Contemporary Sociology
Chronic Condition differs from most [analyses of reform] in focusing on the underlying economic arguments surrounding the debate about health care reform and in offering a carefully constructed critique of the positions adopted by the main protagonists in the debate. It is also distinctive in seeking to go beyond analysis of a failed initiative to advocate an alternative route to address the well-known weaknesses of the US system...[Chronic Condition is] valuable in explaining the failure of previous reform methods and in offering the outlines of an alternative.
-- Chris Ham Social Policy [UK]
Sherry Glied's new book, Chronic Condition, is the single best book on the reform and financing of the U.S. health care system that I have read. It is short, well written, easy for a non-economist to follow, and its recommendations are sound and sensible.
-- Eli Ginzberg, Columbia University