US health care has been in crisis since Nixon–but J-PAL economist Amy Finkelstein may have found a way to radically disrupt it

In 1969, US President Richard Nixon proclaimed, "We face a massive crisis in this [healthcare] area". Without prompt administrative and legislative action, he added, "We will have a breakdown in our medical care system". Fifty-four years later, many health and economic experts believe the United States remains in its official healthcare crisis. In a new book, 'We’ve got you covered: Rebooting American healthcare, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab North America co-scientific director, Amy Finkelstein, and her co-writer, the economist Liran Einav, detailed an approach that could potentially transform the multi-dimensional dysfunctionality that is the US healthcare system.

'Few of us need convincing that the American [way of healthcare] needs reform. But many of the existing proposals focus on expanding one relatively successful piece of the system or building in piecemeal additions', the authors argue. Nearly all of these proposals miss the bigger point, according to the two economists. They believe it’s time to stop putting Band-Aids on a system they diagnose as 'incoherent, uncoordinated, inefficient and unplanned'.