A Better Choice
A Better Choice

A Better Choice

Healthcare Solutions for America


128 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Paperback, ebook: PDF, ebook: EPUB, Mobipocket

Paperback, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $18.95)

Publication Date: April 2015

ISBN 9781598132083


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Despite having surmounted numerous obstacles, the Affordable Care Act—also commonly known as "Obamacare"—remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. The law's staunchest critics want to repeal and replace the entire law, while even its supporters acknowledge that serious changes are needed. The question is: replace it with what? In A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, economist and John C. Goodman answers the question clearly and concisely. For anyone who wants to better understand Obamacare's most serious problems and learn about some of the boldest prescriptions designed to remedy them, Goodman's book is a must-read.


"Nancy Pelosi famously told us that we could find out what was in the Affordable Care Act once it passed. It is now five years later, and thanks to its convoluted concepts and its thousands of pages of rules and regulations few have wended their way through the ACA, and still fewer understand what it all means. Fortunately John Goodman, an expert on the American health system and a perceptive analyst, has studied the Act and has written the insightful book A Better Choice, that reveals what is in the ACA, what is wrong with it, and what could and should be done to provide cost-effective healthcare to our citizens. The ACA starts from the premise that the federal government knows best when it comes to the provision of healthcare. John Goodman shows the pitfalls of this premise and how the market can be harnessed to align consumer choice and provider incentives to more effectively resolve the issues of resource use and financing of healthcare. Markets are particularly important for the U.S. which has a huge and highly heterogeneous population—317 million people (third largest in the world)." —June E. O'Neill, Wollman Distinguished Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of Business and Government, Baruch College; former Director, Congressional Budget Office  

"John Goodman understands the real life effects of the Affordable Care Act and the proposed alternatives. John also writes extremely well, making complicated concepts clear. All this makes A Better Choice a highly recommended read for those who wish to understand the current health policy debate." —Bill Cassidy, M.D., U.S. Senator

"John Goodman has written a clear and compelling analysis of America's health care morass. Anyone who wants to understand what the politicians and policy wonks are arguing about should turn to A Better Choice. Liberals and conservatives should both read this book to understand why Obamacare does not work as it was supposed to. Everyone should read this book to learn what the solution is." —Joseph R. Antos, Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy, American Enterprise Institute

"Our health care system continues to face higher costs, more mandates, and complicated rules, even as the needs of the consumer are constantly changing. America needs new and innovative approaches—'solutions'—to chart a better course on care. Dr. Goodman has proved himself an innovator, and with his book A Better Choice, he continues to challenge policymakers with thoughtful, market-based approaches toward health care." —John M. Engler, former Governor of Michigan; President and CEO, Business Roundtable

"John Goodman has been one of the most important health economists in the country. He has been an informed and prescient critic of the current health system, and his forecasts of the failings of Obamacare have been exactly on target. He has also been a leader in proposing workable alternatives, and his health savings account plan has been a success whenever it has been used. In A Better Choice he continues his important work. He first shows in detail what is wrong with Obamacare. But he does not stop there: he provides the important alternative, fixed-sum tax credits, that could and should replace all other health subsidies, including the subsidy for employer provided health insurance. He shows how this plan could greatly improve the efficiency of our health care system and also lead to increased health care for the disadvantaged. This is a serious book and one the new Congress should examine very carefully." —Paul H. Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics, Emory University

"A Better Choice is an intriguing book that combines John Goodman's most sensible proposals all in one place. It directly addresses the litany of the issues we face with the two sides on the how to deal with these issues. On the one hand it contrasts the ACA vision with the reality. On the other hand it outlines how simple a real solution might be." —Thomas R. Saving, Jeff Montgomery Professor of Economics and Director of Private Enterprise Research Center, Texas A & M University

"In A Better Choice, John Goodman has worked a miracle. He has distilled the essence of a plan to improve the limping and vulnerable Obamacare program into four points (read the book to find out), which improve opportunities for choice, improve efficiency in that choice, and expand the set of people likely to end up with health insurance coverage. Not that everyone, on either left or right, will agree with all of the particulars of each point or their suggested implementation—but the book does provide a fresh starting point, an alternative narrative, that is virtually guaranteed to get us to a better place than we are at present." —Mark V. Pauly, Bendheim Professor, Professor of Health Care Management, and Professor of Business and Public Policy Wharton School; University of Pennsylvania; former Commissioner, Physician Payment Review Commission

"Regardless of whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has any merit in theory, its practical realities point toward a death spiral as it will likely collapse under its own weight, for all the reasons John Goodman lucidly recounts in A Better Choice. Goodman offers a thoughtful, thought-provoking alternative to the ACA (Obamacare) and the enormous harms it would cause, to which everyone, especially all those who favor free markets and limited government, should pay very close attention." —E. Haavi Morreim, Professor, College of Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Author Biography

John C. Goodman is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed, and the award-winning Independent book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts." Dr. Goodman is frequently invited to testify before Congress on health care reform, and he is the author of more than fifty studies on health policy, retirement reform and tax issues plus ten books, including Living with Obamacare: A Consumer's Guide; Lives at Risk: Single Payer National Health Insurance Around the World (with Gerald Musgrave and Devon Herrick); Leaving Women Behind: Modern Families, Outdated Laws (with Kimberley A. Strassel and Celeste Colgan); and the trailblazing Patient Power: Solving America's Health Care Crisis, that sold more than 300,000 copies. His other books include The Handbook on State Health Care Reform, National Health Care in Great Britain: Lessons for the U.S.A., Economics of Public Policy: The Micro View (with Edwin Dolan), Fighting the War of Ideas in Latin America, and Privatization. Dr. Goodman received his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University, he has been President and Kellye Wright Fellow in Health Care at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and he has taught and completed research at Columbia University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Southern Methodist University and the University of Dallas. In 1988, he received the prestigious Duncan Black Award for the best scholarly article on public choice economics. He regularly appears on television and radio news programs, including those on Fox News Channel, CNN, PBS, Fox Business Network and CNBC, and his articles appear in The Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, USA Today, Forbes, National Review, Health Affairs, Kaiser Health News and other national publications. Dr. Goodman was also the pivotal lead expert in the grassroots public policy campaign, "Free Our Health Care Now," an unsurpassed national education effort to communicate patient-centered alternatives to a government-run health care system. The initiative resulted in the largest online petition ever delivered on Capitol Hill.

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