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The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
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"You don't necessarily realize it while you're reading, but you're talking Comparative Health Economics 101. With a really fun professor." --Daily Kos
"Not many writers of any ilk... can match T.R. Reid's ability to bring a light, witty touch to really serious topics--like health policy around the globe." --New America Foundation --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
There's no question something needs to be done to fix the US health care system. The idea that the richest and most technologically-advanced country would let people die because they can't get the care they need or go bankrupt because they get sick is absurd. That is why the current debate about health care reform is needed. The problem though is that's it's hard to know what we're looking at when filtered through politicians and the majority of the media coverage. They focus on the extremes, especially those opposed to reform who mischaracterize the systems in other countries as `socialized medicine'. In this context, Reid provides a useful voice to the debate- whether you agree with his prescriptions or not. He de-stigmatizes the systems of other countries and explains why we're not as far removed from them as we think.
He shows us how other countries' systems are different, but also alike. Some `socialist' countries have private insurance and private doctors. In fact, Reid demonstrates how some countries actually have more choice than the US. In Germany for example, one can choose from hundreds of different insurance plans and go to any doctor, whereas US citizens are generally limited to one employer's plan and only `in-network' doctors.Read more ›
The timing of this book is uncanny. Everyone who cares one whit about health care in the US should read it... and LISTEN to what it has to tell us.
The fundamental thesis of the book is that the US healthcare system can and must learn and adapt ideas from various other healthcare systems - the idea is not radical at all. What is unique about this book is that Reid systematically and convincingly disproves the common arguments centered on the notions of "socialized medicine". A sub-text of this thesis is perhaps a bit more novel than his original thesis - US doesn't have a healthcare delivery problem, but has a significant problem financing it. This re-framing of the problem, clearly and deliberately divorcing the clinical resources/processes from the administrative (non-clinical) processes, is very helpful in focusing the arguments Reid wants to make. While one could argue that this re-framing is oversimplification and too biased against payers, it becomes to a open-minded reader that, at least in the US context, it is absolutely critical to view the economics side of healthcare first. Reid convincingly makes an argument that the "capitalistic" idealism US markets crave for and swear for are not channeled appropriately or are in fact, have the wrong incentive structure.
Whether you agree with that viewpoint or not, the detailed global journey of Reid and his quasi-functional shoulder, helps a reader lead a vicarious patient life in a wide variety of settings, some more similar to the US than others. (Having grown up entirely in India, I certainly can relate to and think that the author's portrayal of India's healthcare system is accurate and presented in a matter-of-fact manner).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an engaging and informative tour through several different health systems in the western world. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Alex
not written by a physician nor an economist but by a journalist and therefore very readable.does not datePublished 13 days ago by harveylewis
Very interesting unbiased view of healthcare in other countries. A peek into our futurePublished 24 days ago by Mihail Dragulin
GREAT read for anyone in need of health-care in the US (aka EVERYONE). I have recommended it to everyone and anyone who will listen.Published 2 months ago by Leoagno
Awesome read. I was not convinced that universal healthcare should even be considered. This book opened my eyes a little and helped me to understand how it works in other countries... Read morePublished 2 months ago by scott1214
Very well written and easy to read. Made some great points about the exceptionalism that Americans feel about our healthcare system without have the results to back it up. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Linda