Marilee J. Layman (mjlayman) wrote,
Marilee J. Layman

This journal has been placed in memorial status. New entries cannot be posted to it.

The Healing of America, A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. R

T.R. Reid used to be a foreign correspondent for the WashPost so he's tried a lot of different kinds of health care in other countries. This book chronicles his search for two things: a health care system that would work for the US, and a cure for his stiff painful shoulder (doctor put a screw in many years ago).

He gives us the four standard types of health care systems and visits all of them to find out how they work and how people think of them. At the same time, he asks a doctor in each place what to do about his shoulder. This varied from the US doctor saying first he should have a shoulder replacement, to practitioners who did Ayurveda, to the UK doctor who told him to live with it.

The US is the only industrialized developed country that doesn't consider health care a moral right. In fact, although we pay the most for health care as a percentage of GDP -- 15.3 -- we rank 47th for life expectancy at birth.

This book is easy and engrossing to read -- I liked that he had his shoulder looked at everywhere (it was the Ayurveda that fixed it, but it took weeks in India) -- while he tells us about how the different types of health insurance work (ours is the Out Of Pocket model). He also tells about how some countries recently took parts of different systems -- the ones that work best for them -- and made them into hybrid systems.

I listened to loud voices on the tape of Meet the Press today and wanted to hand them this book. I recommend it highly.
Tags: book

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