The Healing of America

The Healing of America

A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

Book - 2009
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Bestselling author T. R. Reid guides a whirlwind tour of successful health care systems worldwide, revealing possible paths toward U.S. reform.

In The Healing of America, New York Times bestselling author T. R. Reid shows how all the other industrialized democracies have achieved something the United States can't seem to do: provide health care for everybody at a reasonable cost.

In his global quest to find a possible prescription, Reid visits wealthy, free market, industrialized democracies like our own--including France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and Canada--where he finds inspiration in example. Reid shares evidence from doctors, government officials, health care experts, and patients the world over, finding that foreign health care systems give everybody quality care at an affordable cost. And that dreaded monster "socialized medicine" turns out to be a myth. Many developed countries provide universal coverage with private doctors, private hospitals, and private insurance.

In addition to long-established systems, Reid also studies countries that have carried out major health care reform. The first question facing these countries--and the United States, for that matter--is an ethical issue: Is health care a human right? Most countries have already answered with a resolute yes, leaving the United States in the murky moral backwater with nations we typically think of as far less just than our own.

The Healing of America lays bare the moral question at the heart of our troubled system, dissecting the misleading rhetoric surrounding the health care debate. Reid sees problems elsewhere, too: He finds poorly paid doctors in Japan, endless lines in Canada, mistreated patients in Britain, spartan facilities in France. Still, all the other rich countries operate at a lower cost, produce better health statistics, and cover everybody. In the end, The Healing of America is a good news book: It finds models around the world that Americans can borrow to guarantee health care for everybody who needs it.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2009
ISBN: 9781594202346
Branch Call Number: History 362.109 REI


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Oct 09, 2017

I’ve now read two Global Quest books from T.R. Reid. His analysis is clear, enlightened, and entertaining. I wish decision-makers were reading them and legislating accordingly.

Like he did with taxation (A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System), he shows how other modern, prosperous countries have addressed the question of health care successfully. Reid samples health care in six countries: France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, and India. He shows how each has adopted and adapted one of four commonly used healthcare models: Bismarck, Beveridge, National Health Insurance, or Out-of-Pocket. The United States follows a unique model that compares poorly on most measures of benefit/effect and costs far more as measured by percentage of GDP.

To adopt a better system, the U.S. must first decide that the nation has a moral obligation to provide healthcare. Then, we can address the basic problems of cost, coverage, and quality. We also have to let go of the myths that prevent clear assessment of the issues, starting with “American exceptionalism,” the notion that no other country has useful ideas.

Cynthia_N May 17, 2017

Surely someone has sent this book to our Congress!! Great book that examines the healthcare systems (through studies and experiences) of multiple developed nations. Shows the pluses and minuses of them. I feel so much more informed on what we should be looking for as we look to change our current system. I like that the author did not make any suggestions on how to fix ours just presented the information. Highly recommended!!

May 06, 2017

A must read for anybody who is interested in the American health care system and how it might be improved. Very interesting read, highly recommended!

May 03, 2016

The UK has had National health care for 70 years, but people with cancer wait 6 months for care. Everyone who can afford to pay for private healthcare does so. Socialism and national health care just do not work, yet authors like Reid keep telling us it does. The book is full of lies and reminds me of reading an Obama or Clinton Book.

Jan 28, 2016

Many people assert that the United States has the best heath care system in the world; this book should disabuse them of that misunderstanding. As T.R. Reid thoroughly demonstrates, ours is perhaps the worst among first-world countries, giving us overall worse outcomes. People are persuaded that because the occasional Saudi prince or parents of conjoined twins come here for surgeries that ours must be the best, but higher infant mortality and overall lower longevity indicate the reverse. This book is for those who want change and provides the evidence that should provoke that change. I wish every Congress member would read it.

Mar 05, 2015

Very good book by a reporter on the U.S. health system, by means of comparing it with the health systems in the U.K., France, India, Japan, etc. His family went with him to these countries and, in addition to statistical comparisons across the countries, he compares the experiences of his family in receiving care in each country. Very enlightening.

Jan 17, 2014

It's not a bad book, but it's not outstanding, either, just another author rehashing the same ground, while offering nothing new. The Publishers Weekly reviewer correctly hits the target with, ". . .Reid neglects to address the elephant in the room: just how are we to sell these changes to the mighty providers and insurers?"
Let's examine exactly who owns the major health insurers, beginning with one just in the news, Anthem, which is purchasing Cigna to make it the number two insurer - - so who owns or is the majority investor in Anthem?
Vanguard Group, T. Rowe Price, State Street Corp. and FMR LLC [Fidelity]. So who owns T. Rowe Price?
Vanguard Group, State Street Corp., JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock.
So who owns JPMorgan Chase?
Vanguard Group, State Street Corp., FMR LLC and BlackRock. [Applies to number one, Aetna, and number three, UnitedHealth.] Now you know the answer.

Feb 09, 2013

Very readable introduction to national health care systems. Describes the failings of pre-ACA U.S. care and how they do it differently (and generally better) in a sampling of other countries.

Worth reading for the stories of how systems in other countries came to be, evolving out of particular social and political contexts.


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