ON-Lion Letter
In The Cure:  How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care, published by Encounter Books, Dr. David Gratzer examines the crisis in America's overregulated health-care system and proposes several common-sense solutions to resolve it.  Gratzer's suggestions would help lower alarmingly rising health-care costs, while preserving necessary incentives for innovation in the growing health-care sector -- now one-sixth of the American economy. 

A Canadian-born psychiatrist, Gratzer is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.  His 1999 book Code Blue:  Reviving Canada's Health Care System was awarded the $25,000 Donner Prize for the best public-policy book in Canada and is now in its fifth printing.  Now, in The Cure, he engages those who argue for a Canadian-style, centralized health-care system, saying that we should rely instead on one that empowers both providers and consumers in a market.  

"There are, of course, profound differences between Canadian and American health care," according to Gratzer.  "But the direction of American health reform -- toward greater government intervention -- is unsettlingly familiar. It’s like watching a car accident unfold in front of me: a series of small events, leading to a disastrous final conclusion. I wanted to write a book to outline a different path, one in which we emphasize choice and competition. The book considers how to reduce health expenses but increase quality, insure millions along the way, and shore up Medicare."

Specifically, Gratzer puts forth three bold ideas to reform health care in America:  1.) eliminating the huge tax subsidy that supports employer-based coverage and replacing it with a system of portable insurance; 2.) returning the Food and Drug Administration to its original mandate of approving drugs for safety and not for efficacy, thereby creating a market for medical progress; and, 3.) and propping up Medicare, the country's most-massive unfunded liability.

The late Milton Friedman wrote a foreword to the book.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.  Encounter's president and publisher is Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion magazine, which is also supported by Bradley, as is the Manhattan Institute.
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