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The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

How the rest of the (developed) world does it...

Timely and well-written, this tour of the major health care systems of the industrialized world provides an informed, open-minded, and realistic backdrop to the current health-care "debate". Mr. Reid takes his bad shoulder around the world and sees doctors in the UK, F...
Timely and well-written, this tour of the major health care systems of the industrialized world provides an informed, open-minded, and realistic backdrop to the current health-care "debate". Mr. Reid takes his bad shoulder around the world and sees doctors in the UK, France, Japan, India, and Canada - describing along the way the various public & private systems those countries use to provide health care. Mr. Reid does not explicitly suggest how the US should change our system, but it's hard to miss his point that the US is alone among industrialized nations in not providing universal health care - and - the fact that everyone is covered in those nations means that the per-capita cost of health care is far lower than in the US. A fine antidote to the town-hall craziness that has dominated the news recently and well worth reading.

posted by 1192547 on September 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The definitive book on health care reform

Reid is clearly an advocate of health care reform, criticizing our "system" on several grounds, including the fact that it does not provide universal coverage, that health care takes up a ridiculous 17% of our GDP, that it is burdened by high administrative costs. Desp...
Reid is clearly an advocate of health care reform, criticizing our "system" on several grounds, including the fact that it does not provide universal coverage, that health care takes up a ridiculous 17% of our GDP, that it is burdened by high administrative costs. Despite our constantly beating our chests about providing "the best health care in the world", millions of Americans do not have access to that care because they earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid, earn too little to afford health insurance, or are too young to be eligible for Medicare (which is also available to those who qualify for Social Security Disability). To make matters worse, we consistently rank behind many many other countries on such measures as life expectancy and infant mortality. With regard to the latter, we rank behind such countries as Cuba and Slovenia.

Reid believes first and foremost that providing health care coverage to all citizens is a moral imperative. He notes repeatedly that the United States is the only industrialized, developed democracy that does not provide such coverage. But he argues compellingly that reform is also an economic imperative.

He identifies four basic models which describe how health care is provided in other countries, then describes those models in detail by providing an in-depth description of how different countries have implemented those different models, including two countries, Taiwan and Switzerland, which adopted major reforms of their health care systems at the same time that our legislators were rejecting Clinton's proposal in the 1990's, a proposal that never even made it to a vote in Congress.

Reid does not claim that that the other countries whose systems he describes are health care utopias. He is quick to detail the criticisms and problems that exist in the countries whose systems he describes. But what clearly emerges from his book is the fact that the other industrialized democracies all provide quality health care at affordable costs and with less burden on their economic systems than our current system provides.

This is a must read for anyone interested in this debate, despite the passage of the recent bill, which, hopefully, represents just the beginning of significant health care reform in the United States.

posted by DudesDad3 on April 18, 2010

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