Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Healing of America

T.R. Reid's book, The Healing of American: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, is an important read.

Reid, a Washington Post correspondent, explores health-care systems around the world and asks and works to answer the following questions:
  • why is American the only developed economy that does not provide health care to all its citizens?
  • why does American spend 2x per capita on health care while leaving 45m uninsured?
  • should health care be considered a right or a privilege?
  • why are administrative costs 4% of spend in France and 20% of spend in the US?
  • why is the US 23rd out of 23rd in life expectancy over 60 amongst developed nations?
  • hows does health care work in Germany, France, Spain, the UK, Japan....?
Health care reform is a very complex issue, and the cacophony of sound bites from both parties only serves to raise, not answer questions. In my effort to come to a personal, informed decision on the issue, I turned to Reid's book after hearing him interviewed on Newshour.

The transcript of his interview with Betty Bowser can be found here.