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Books, Journals, New Media
January 19, 2005

Health Policy

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2005;293(3):369-375. doi:10.1001/jama.293.3.369

If you’re looking for intellectual ammunition to refute the perennial myths about the triumph of socialized medicine in the rest of the developed world, this book is essential. It is an updated, expanded, well-referenced version of Twenty Myths About National Health Insurance, published in 1991 by the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Because single-payer advocates assert that enough funding to expand coverage to all will flow painlessly from the elimination of private insurers, the administrative cost myth is a crucial one. Goodman et al demolish it decisively. Private administration really is more efficient than public. Moreover, the key to eliminating both waste and perverse incentives is to get all third parties out of the majority of medical encounters—not to make a federal case of every single episode of medical care. True insurance is a method for indemnifying subscribers for a catastrophic loss, not a bill-paying service.

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