Priceless: Solving the Healthcare Debate Beyond Party Politics and Into the Marketplace

Groundbreaking New Book Reveals Free-market Solutions that Empower Affordable, High-quality Healthcare for All


Catherine Daniell at (972) 308-6479 or (817) 991-1041

(WASHINGTON, DC- May 24, 2012) -- Patients, health care providers, employers, and employees are all trapped in a dysfunctional healthcare system fraught with perverse incentives that raise costs, reduce quality, and make care less accessible. Unless changed, these incentives will only worsen the problems in the coming months and years. In his compelling new book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis (The Independent Institute, June 2012), Dr. John C. Goodman, renowned “Father of Health Savings Accounts” and leading expert on free-market healthcare solutions, demonstrates how market forces have been driven out from the American healthcare system, making it nearly impossible to solve problems as effectively or efficiently as in virtually every other type of consumer marketplace. Goodman cuts through the politics to think “outside the box” and proposes dozens of bold reforms that would liberate patients and caregivers from the trap of a third-party payment system that stands in the way of affordable, high-quality healthcare.

Conventional thinking about how to solve the current healthcare crisis is marred by misleading beliefs and misguided policies on both sides of the political spectrum. Rather than pursuing programs that offer free care on delivery, encourage overconsumption, and mandate citizens to participate, Priceless is the first book to attack these practices on the fundamental level and demand that patients and their providers, not policy-makers, be empowered by freer markets to chart their own healthcare map. In Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, we learn:

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—a.k.a. ObamaCare—is the result of a special-interest feeding frenzy. Individual mandates will force us to buy at costs rising faster than our incomes and will eventually crowd out every other form of consumption. A system of employer mandates will force a complete restructuring and decline of the American economy and society.
  • Priceless asserts that true reform requires liberation — freeing doctors, patients, and the American workforce.  In contrast to the popular view that third-party payers should only pay for "evidence-based medicine,"
  • Priceless warns against imposing "cookbook recipes" on doctors and argues that in any complex system, people must be as free as possible to solve each other’s problems.
  • The widespread adoption of Health Savings Accounts would cut costs by 30 percent or more. Employers would be free to buy individually owned insurance for their employees.
  • Doctors should be free to repackage and re-price their services in patient-pleasing ways. They would be free to act as agents of their patients rather than of third-party payers.
  • Individuals would be allowed to insure against pre-existing conditions, so they could switch health plans without financial penalty. Health plans would have incentives to compete for all potential enrollees, regardless of health condition.
  • Patient safety could be improved by allowing patients, doctors and hospitals to enter into voluntary, no-fault contracts. Patients would be assured that if they experience an adverse outcome for a reason other than the medical condition for which they seek care (whether or not malpractice is involved), the provider will write them a check, without lawyers, without depositions, without judges and juries—no questions asked.

Published by the Independent Institute (June 2012), Pricelessexplains why healthcare cannot be managed from the top down and why doctors and patients must be free to pursue innovative solutions to health problems. (A summary for Priceless can be viewed here.) To receive a review copy of the book, please contact Lindsay M. Boyd at The Independent Institute at (510) 632-1366 ext. 116 or

The Independent Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, scholarly, research and educational organization that sponsors in-depth studies of critical social and economic issues in order to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity.

John C. Goodman is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and President of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization. John Goodman’s blog is one of the most popular health policy blogs on the Internet.

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