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Total Cure

Total Cure

The Antidote to the Health Care Crisis

Harold S. Luft

ISBN 9780674057364

Publication date: 10/15/2010

Proposals to reform the health care system typically focus on either increasing private insurance or expanding government-sponsored plans. Guaranteeing that everyone is insured, however, does not create a system with the quality of care patients want, the flexibility clinicians need, and the internal dynamics to continually improve the value of health care.

In Total Cure, Hal Luft presents a comprehensive new proposal, SecureChoice, which does all that while providing affordable health insurance for every American. SecureChoice is a plan that restructures payment for medical care, harnessing the flexibility and responsiveness of the market by aligning the incentives of clinicians, hospitals, and insurers with those of the patient. It uses the accountability of government to ensure transparency, competition, and equity.

SecureChoice has two major components. A universal pool covers the major risks of hospitalization and chronic illness, which account for almost two-thirds of all costs. Everyone would be in the pool, irrespective of employment, income, or health status. The second component emphasizes choice, flexibility, and responsibility. People will be able to choose any physician to serve as their “medical home,” to keep track of their health records, provide much of their care, and suggest referrals. Clinicians will have the information and incentives to continually enhance quality. SecureChoice also facilitates improvements in areas ranging from malpractice to pharmaceuticals and establishes new roles for key stakeholders such as health insurers.


  • Hal Luft's book deserves and will surely command a wide audience. Concerned public officials as well as concerned citizens will want to consider his comprehensive and detailed approach to ensuring access to quality medical care while controlling costs.

    —Rashi Fein, coauthor of The Health Care Mess: How We Got into It and What It Will Take to Get Out


  • Harold S. Luft is Director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, and Caldwell B. Esselstyn Professor of Health Policy and Health Economics, Emeritus, University of California, San Francisco.

Book Details

  • 336 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press