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The Top 10 Myths of American Health Care

Author: Sally Pipes
Publisher: Pacific Research Institute • 2008 • 182 pages

The debate over American health care divides into two camps. One maintains that only government can cure our health care woes; the other holds that government is part of the problem. Right now, advocates of government-run health care clearly have the upper hand — and like all utopian promises, their proposal of free health care for all sounds wonderful. But what would this vision look like in reality? Is it true that our medical care can be saved by a massive intervention of government in the American economy?

Now, in “The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care,” health care scholar Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute argues that government-run health care is in fact an empty promise built upon a foundation of myths. Each chapter focuses on one of the 10 most popular myths in the health care debate. These are arguments made by politicians, policymakers, commentators, and journalists — myths that have been repeated so often that the vast majority of Americans think they’re true:

Myth One: Government health care is more efficient

Myth Two: We’re spending too much on health care

Myth Three: 46 million Americans can’t get health care

Myth Four: High drug prices drive up health care costs

Myth Five: Importing drugs would reduce health care costs

Myth Six: Universal coverage can be achieved by forcing everyone to buy insurance

Myth Seven: Government prevention programs reduce health care costs

Myth Eight: We need more government to insure poor Americans

Myth Nine: Health information technology is a silver bullet for reducing costs

Myth Ten: Government-run health care systems in other countries are better and cheaper than America’s

One by one, Pipes — a Canadian immigrant to the U.S. who has seen government-run health care close up — shatters those myths and offers alternative market-based solutions that will cost less and be more effective in fixing the problems that plague our medical system, while also ensuring that American health care remains the best in the world.

“Before you do anything else, make a note to read The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care by Sally C. Pipes. It might literally save your life, by checking the political stampede toward a government-controlled medical profession usually presented politically as ‘universal health care.'” — Thomas Sowell

“This isn’t just a great book, it’s a public service — exploding myths, clarifying complex issues, and surveying important research. How to understand the debate on health reform? Start by reading this book.” — David Gratzer, M.D., Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

“Pithy and incisive. . .Pipes dissects the ten widely promulgated myths that will enable the U.S. federal government to control your medical care. The threat posed by these myths is real as the U.S. Congress continuously acts, in small, clandestine, and dangerous ways to enable the government to take your money to control your health care system.” — Regina Herzlinger, Harvard Business School

“For anyone interested in getting to the core of America’s health care troubles, this is the perfect book. And for health care policy makers, it should be required reading.” — Steve Forbes, from his Foreword

“Americans can only hope that in a bipartisan moment, President Obama picks up a copy of this excellent work.” — The Washington Times

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