The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

By | May 29, 2018
The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

A New York Times Bestseller, with an updated explanation of the 2010 Health Reform Bill

Bringing to bear his talent for explaining complex issues in a clear, engaging way, New York Times bestselling author T. R. Reid visits industrialized democracies around the world–France, Britain, Germany, Japan, and beyond–to provide a revelatory tour of successful, affordable universal health care systems. Now updated with new statistics and a plain-English explanation of the 2010 health care reform bill, The Healing of America is required reading for all those hoping to understand the state of health care in our country, and around the world.

T. R. Reid’s newest book, A Fine Mess, is now available from Penguin Press.

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3 thoughts on “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

  1. S. Freeman
    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Reid is a journalist who has an excellent writing style, June 13, 2016
    S. Freeman (Edinburg, Texas) –

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    This review is from: The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (Paperback)
    A superb book. T.R. Reid is a journalist who has an excellent writing style. He identifies and examines all of the various types of health care systems in the world–Single Payer, which we are hearing so much about today and which our Medicare system is; the Bismarck Model of private (NON PROFIT) insurance companies; the Beveridge model, which is actual “socialized” medicine; the U.S. model, which actually is a dysfunctional conglomeration of the 3 previous models PLUS, the primary private for profit system that delivers substandard health care to a majority of the population.

    As numerous studies have shown, even with “Obamacare”, the U.S. has the least effective health care system in the developed world, with even some developing nations providing superior care to their populations than the current system provides citizens of the U.S. Though written before Obamacare, a careful reading of the book will tell readers, while an improvement over what we had, Obama care ultimately will not work, and will have to be restructured into one of the existing 3 national health care systems. While my personal preference probably is single payer, I think it would be easier to get citizens to accept the Bismarck model of NON PROFIT private insurance companies. While it will surprise people indoctrinated in the myth of the magic of the “free market”, non profit insurance companies are very competitive; there actually are more health insurance companies per capita in Germany than in the U.S. France, which uses the Bismarck health care system generally is regarded as having the best health care system in the world. Germany’s health care system, of course, is among the best too. Even though we have single payer Medicare, I think the Bismarck system would be an easier sell to people who have fallen prey to the Republicans’ disingenuous arguments about national health care and “socialized” medicine.

    Anyone truly interested in the nation’s health care should read Reid’s book, because it will be a genuine education on the various approaches to health care throughout the world.

  2. Book Shark
    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Must-Read, Excellent book!, October 1, 2013
    Book Shark (USA) –

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

    “The Healing of America” is a must-read book that seeks a cure for our ailing, unfair, and absurdly expensive health care system. Longtime correspondent for the Washington Post, commentator and accomplished author T.R. Reid masterfully goes on a global quest to find the answers to our failing system while simultaneously seeking a cure to his ailing right shoulder. This is one of the most enlightening books I have read on this highly-debated an incendiary topic. This excellent, informative 303-page book includes the following thirteen chapters: 1. A Quest for Two Cures, 2. Different Models, Common Principles, 3. The Paradox, 4. France: The Vital Card, 5. Germany: “Applied Christianity”, 6. Japan: Bismarck on Rice, 7. The UK: Universal Coverage, No Bills, 8. Canada: “Sorry to Keep You Waiting”, 9. Out of Pocket, 10. Too Big to Change?, 11. An Apple a Day, 12. The First Question, and 13. Major Surgery.

    1. A well-written, well-researched book on a highly-debated topic. Reid goes over the positives and negatives of each system in an accessible, even-handed, engaging manner.
    2. Good use of charts to complement excellent narration.
    3. Does a fantastic job of going over the four main health care models in existence around the world and some of it most popular combinations: Bismarck, Beveridge, National health insurance, and out-of-pocket.
    4. Makes clear what the American health care system basically is throughout the book. “Americans generally recognize now that our nation’s health care system has become excessively expensive, ineffective, and unjust.”
    5. Succeeds in developing a compelling thesis and works his way to superior solutions. “The thesis of this book is that we can find cost-effective ways to cover every American by borrowing ideas from foreign models of health care.”
    6. Makes it plainly clear. The American health care system is in reality a health care market. “For anyone with the money–or the insurance policy–to pay for it, American medical treatment ranks with the best on earth.”
    7. “The shortcomings of our system can be grouped into three basic problems: coverage, quality, and cost.” Reid consistently references our system as it compares and relates to other systems around the globe. “All the other developed countries see to it that every person has a right to health care when necessary. We don’t.”
    8. Some statements just speak for themselves and are a recurring theme. “The United States is the only developed country that relies on profit-making health insurance companies to pay for essential and elective care.” And as a result…”The United States is the only developed country that allows insurance companies to refuse coverage to people for fear that they might get sick.”
    9. Introduces quirks in the American system that leads to unnecessary complexity, “The presence of countless different payers and fee schedules drives another unique feature of American health care: the cost shift.” “The administrative patchwork makes everything about American medicine more complex and more expensive than it needs to be.”
    10. France is number one? “Whether or not you agree with the World Health Organization’s conclusion that France has the world’s No. 1 health care system, all the statistics on national health suggest that France rates near the top of the global rankings. France does a better job than almost any other country both in encouraging health and in treating those who get sick.”
    11. The three fundamental ways that the German health care system is different than ours.
    12. The most prodigious consumer of health care, how their system works. “The Japanese system, in short, provides care to every resident of Japan, for minimal fees, with no waiting lists–and excellent results. This is a good deal for the people of Japan, and they take advantage of it, flocking to clinics and hospitals.”
    13. A comprehensive look at the British National Health Service system. “Free nationalized health care is such a basic part of British life today that not even the iron lady of British conservatism, Margaret Thatcher, ever dared take on the NHS.”
    14. The Canadian system. “The most distinctive lesson we could take, though, from Canada’s health care system is the key point of the Tommy Douglas saga: Universal health care coverage doesn’t have to start at the national level.”
    15. The reality of the out-of-pocket system. “This pattern also holds in the only wealthy country that uses the Out-of-Pocket Model for a significant portion of the population: the United States.”
    16. Great examples of countries that successfully overhauled their systems. “In the course of my global quest, I visited two countries that completely revamped their national health care arrangements: Switzerland and Taiwan. Both countries made…

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  3. Kindle Customer
    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    THE MORAL ISSUE, January 16, 2017

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    Wow, what an eye opener. I always thought that to ensure health care for everyone the United States would have to resort to increased spending and socialism. However, this book debunked that myth. In fact, a universal health care system, whether it is the Beveridge Model or the Bismark Model, can save money and ensure health care for everyone. But most importantly, a nation that provides universal health care demonstrates good morals and values.

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