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Health Care Reform by Victor R. Fuchs A Collection of Articles on U.S. Health Care Reform

Jan 2010
Policy Brief
By  Victor Fuchs
Health care reform is likely to be hailed as the single biggest accomplishment of the first year of President Obama’s administration—at least that is what the political pundits are saying. But Victor Fuchs has been thinking, writing and speaking about health policy longer than anyone involved in the current reform process and his articles show that much more can and should be done. Victor is the Stanford economics professor who is the dean of American health economists and is best known for his thoughtful book Who Shall Live? In just the past two years he has written 12 short articles that have appeared in such prestigious publications as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), New England Journal of Medicine and Health Affairs. These 12 articles, combined, are maybe one-hundredth as long as the bills being voted on in Congress, but they contain more ideas to bring about true improvements in the way we allocate health care and steps that we need to take to control spending on health. They also have the advantage that they can be comprehended by mere humans in finite time, unlike the proposed legislation. This booklet reprints the 12 articles to shed light not only on what might have been but also on what is left to be done in the process of health policy reform. Restructuring health care is far from over. In fact, the true task of accomplishing universal coverage, putting health spending on a budget, and reducing economically and medically wasteful procedures and treatments has hardly been dented. While implementing all of Victor’s ideas would take years, some of them can and should be accomplished sooner rather than later. Health reform is a work in progress and much can be gained by studying the wisdom of Victor Fuchs.