YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE: Strong Medicine for America's Healthcare System

David M. Cutler, Author . Oxford Univ. $30 (158p) ISBN 978-0-19-516042-0

Not to be confused with the bestselling personal finance volume (by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin), this work examines the health care crisis in America. Many people readily admit they're unhappy with both the cost and the care they receive from their doctors and are very frustrated with the health-care system. However, according to Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard and health-care adviser in the Clinton administration, the advances made in health care over the past 50 years have been quite positive and have contributed to longer and more productive lives. But people have a hard time understanding their choices—paying more for medicine that will keep them alive or choosing costly surgery that may not guarantee a better quality of life. Cutler offers numerous examples of medical progress along with economic reasoning to persuade readers that more and more medical advances should be sought, along with better medical coverage for everyone. "For medical care to be effective, people must be able to afford it. The issue of affordability is clearly a concern of the uninsured. The uninsured rely on the largesse of the medical system as a whole." Cutler's discussion of managed care and how doctors are reimbursed for certain procedures but discouraged from other practices is especially clear. Cutler's position—health insurance for all and doctor reimbursement by quality, not simply service—is clear and compelling. This book will be of most interest to government officials, doctors and others in the health-care industry. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Release date: 02/01/2004
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