T.R. Reid: The Healing of America

Cover photoThis evening I started reading T.R. Reid’s The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (2010). It’s a more detailed version of the PBS Frontline show he wrote and narrated a couple years ago.

Reid’s journey around the world in search of ideas that the United States can borrow in order to make substantive improvements in healthcare is shaping up to be a good read, and I will post some ideas from it. I’ll get the ball rolling by noting the four axes he’s using to gauge other countries’ health systems:

  • Coverage — How many people does the system cover? Who makes access-to-treatment decisions? Everyone else’s systems seem fairer than the US model.
  • Quality — How can the United State match health outcomes of other countries? People in most other rich nations have better health than we do.
  • Cost — How much do those other systems cost? How do other nations spend less per capita than the US?
  • Choice — What are the options and trade-offs for seeing the doctors you want at the hospital you want in a timely manner?

I may ask you, my dear readers, about some of these issues. Stay tuned!


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