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In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care
In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care
Author: Scott W. Atlas MD
Pub Date: 
January 03, 2012
Product Format: 
In stock.
Price: $24.95
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The real facts on America's health care dilemma

Medical care in the United States has been loudly and repeatedly derided as inferior in comparison to health care systems in much of the developed world and even in some relatively undeveloped nations. In Excellent Health offers an alternative view of the much maligned state of health care in America, challenging the statistics often cited as evidence that medical care in the United States is substandard and poor in value relative to that of other countries. Rather than relying on purely subjective judgments about equity and fairness, the book provides extensive, detailed evidence with which to answer the paramount question when considering quality of health care: "Where would you rather be when you are sick?"

Drawing from research in scientific and medical journals, the author defends both the quality of and access to medical care in the United States compared to numerous countries with nationalized systems often held up as models for health system reforms. He then suggests a logical and complete reform plan designed to maintain choice and access to excellence and facilitate competition. His proposal offers a series of key improvements in the three critical areas of the health care puzzle—tax structure, private insurance markets, and government health insurance programs—that will reduce health costs and maintain essential support for America's most vulnerable citizens, seniors and low-income families, without jeopardizing the exceptional health care quality and access in the United States.


Scott W. Atlas, MD Scott W. Atlas, MD, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center, and senior fellow by courtesy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford.

Atlas's research interests are domestic and global health care policy, particularly the role of government and the free market in pricing, quality, access, and technology innovation. Recent publications include Reforming America's Health Care System: The Flawed Vision of ObamaCare (Hoover Institution Press, 2010), "Relationship between HMO Market Share and the Diffusion and Use of Advanced MRI Technologies" (2004), with L.C. Baker; “Expanding CT and MRI Availability, Imaging Utilization in the Medicare Population, and the Challenge of Measuring Value” (2008), with L.C. Baker and C, Afendulis, and Power to the Patient: Selected Health Care Issues and Policy Solutions (Hoover Institution Press, 2005). Atlas has been interviewed about the role of government in health care on television, radio, and other news media, including BBC Radio and the Lehrer News Hour, and in newspapers such as Brazil’s Correio Braziliense, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, and Argentina’s Diario La Nacion.


"Thorough works of scholarship are not usually good reads, especially when accompanied by footnotes, figures, and tables. This one is an exception, both because of the intrinsic fascination of its subject and the clarity of the author's prose. Hoover Institution fellow and physician Scott W. Atlas, author of a medical textbook, methodically demolishes the myth that the U.S. health-care system ranks low among those of industrial nations. He simply asks, If you could choose anywhere in the world, where would you want to receive health care? His answer: the U.S."
    —ROBERT MILBURN, Barron's. Read the full review here.


"In the era of evidence-based medicine, it is critical to also practice evidence-based policy-making as judiciously demonstrated in this work by Dr. Atlas. Facts are critical to inform the debate. This book is a must read for policy makers and all involved in determining the direction of America's health care reforms."

    —Elias Zerhouni, MD, former director, US National Institutes of Health (2002–2008), is president of Global Research and Development, Sanofi-Aventis, in Paris, France.

"Scott Atlas has provided a book about health care reform that is everything the debate itself is not: fact-based, thoughtful, organized and disciplined. It is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the real state of medical care in the United States."

    —Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office; chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2001 to 2002, and currently the president of the American Action Forum.

"Scott Atlas has written a straight-talking, fact-based analysis that compares health systems throughout the world. He debunks the notion that single-payer health care systems provide more efficient and better health care than that provided by the US system. Atlas uses serious scholarship to provide an objective analysis of the state of health care by relying on well-grounded principles, coupled with an extensive review of the literature, focusing on peer-reviewed literature and primary-source statistics instead of subjective indexes that are easily manipulated."

    —Edward P. Lazear, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2006 to 2009, is a professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a Hoover Institution fellow.

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