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

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

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, popular Cheaper, and outlet sale Fairer Health Care outlet online sale
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A New York Times Bestseller, with an updated explanation of the 2010 Health Reform Bill

"Important and powerful . . . a rich tour of health care around the world." —Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

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 latest book, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System, is also available from Penguin Press.

Review

"Important and powerful . . . a rich tour of health care around the world." — Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

"You don''t necessarily realize it while you''re reading, but you''re talking Comparative Health Economics 101. With a really fun professor." — Daily Kos

"Not many writers of any ilk . . . can match T.R. Reid''s ability to bring a light, witty touch to really serious topics—like health policy around the globe." — New America Foundation



9780143118213

About the Author

T. R. Reid is a longtime correspondent for  The Washington Post and former chief of its Tokyo and London bureaus. He is a commentator for National Public Radio and has been a correspondent for several PBS documentaries. His bestselling books include  A Fine Mess, The Healing of AmericaThe United States of EuropeThe Chip, and  Confucius Lives Next Door.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
986 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Brian C.
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not enough meat...
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2017
This book has some valuable insights to offer and it is not my intention to dissuade anyone from reading it. However, it is not exactly what I was expecting. Here is what I was hoping for: a book that would provide a detailed empirical analysis of the performance of... See more
This book has some valuable insights to offer and it is not my intention to dissuade anyone from reading it. However, it is not exactly what I was expecting. Here is what I was hoping for: a book that would provide a detailed empirical analysis of the performance of various healthcare systems around the world that explains how they work, rates their performance, and responds to common criticisms (long waiting lines, lack of innovation, reduced choice, etc).

Economists construct models of how markets work and they often make arguments about what particular institutional arrangement would be superior based on those models. But in order to test those models it is necessary to look at the real world so I was hoping for a book that would examine empirically how alternative systems work and see if they are prone to the problems that some of the models predict they should be.

I did get some of what I was hoping for in this book. T.R. Reid provides a basic explanation for how the French, German, Japanese, British and Canadian healthcare systems work and he does respond to some common objections. For example, we learn that in some countries waiting times are actually shorter than in the U.S. (Japan, Germany) and we learn that in many countries consumers actually have more choice in terms of which doctors to see, what procedures to have done, and a greater choice in insurance.

However, a lot of the book was anecdotal - T.R. Reid visits doctors in every country he describes, which helps provide some concrete information about how these systems work in practice but does not answer more general questions about overall performance which require statistics. And he spends a lot of time telling stories that are of merely historical interest - brief biographies of the founders of the various healthcare systems, for example.

The book gave me a quick overview of different approaches to healthcare systems around the world but it did not provide me much in the way of concrete responses to arguments made by proponents of a free-market system other than the moral argument that we should not ration care based on ability to pay (which I happen to agree with). I was hoping for a little more depth but it was still worth reading.
62 people found this helpful
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S. Freeman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Reid is a journalist who has an excellent writing style
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2016
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... See more
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.
29 people found this helpful
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D. Aziza
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2017
Author does an excellent job of analyzing all the various systems around the globe and putting all of them into four groups to help you organize it in your head. He’s just a good writer whose blessed with an intellect that really delivers. The only beef I have is him... See more
Author does an excellent job of analyzing all the various systems around the globe and putting all of them into four groups to help you organize it in your head. He’s just a good writer whose blessed with an intellect that really delivers. The only beef I have is him dedicating the book to Eisenhower. He must think republicans are too stupid to see right thru that one. It’s a bit much to trick us into a mindset of “how do the other guys (foreigners) do it?? Maybe we can come up with something better !!!!! Maybe we can be innovators and not imitators.
I will say His tax book is also excellent. Buy both. Read both ( if you’re like me you tend to buy and not read). Anyone in the market for healthcare ideas will gain tremendously from his reaearxh. He’s the antithesis of the wannabe author. He writes So you understand. Probably one of top writers in existence ( in terms of explaining things to people).
9 people found this helpful
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Inna Tysoe
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful, moral book
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2019
This is a great book that takes us on a fun comparative healthcare tour round the world. It talks about the different ways countries structure their universal healthcare systems, the benefits and drawbacks of each system and how different countries deal with the rising... See more
This is a great book that takes us on a fun comparative healthcare tour round the world. It talks about the different ways countries structure their universal healthcare systems, the benefits and drawbacks of each system and how different countries deal with the rising costs of healthcare. But most of all, this is a book that doesn’t lose sight of the moral question. That first question is spelled out in an extensive conversation with Dr. Hsio: “Do people in your country have a right to healthcare? If the people believe that medical care is a basic right, you design a system that means anybody who is sick can see a doctor. If a society considers medical care to be an economic commodity, then you set up a system that distributes health care based on the ability to pay.”

Implicit in this is the question: when it comes to healthcare, whose interests should take precedence? Those of the healthcare industry (pharma, hospitals, insurers, doctors, consultants, administrators, investors) or those of the patients? Every developed country (except America) has decided that healthcare is a right of citizenship and their various universal healthcare systems put patients first. America, by contrast, has decided that the business of healthcare is business.

That does not mean that every universal healthcare system is the same. T.R. Reid shows us that every nation’s universal healthcare system is as different as that country’s culture. Germany and Switzerland provide universal healthcare while ensuring that there is more competition between private doctors, insurers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies than in the United States. When Reid asked Dr. Nakamichi, one of the top orthopedic surgeons in all of Japan, how long he would have to wait if he chose to do a full-scale shoulder-replacement elective surgery, the renowned doctor responded “Tomorrow would be a little difficult. But next week would probably work.” Does your insurance allow you to see a world-renowned doctor at the Mayo Clinic? Can you schedule an elective surgery with a surgeon there next week? Because if you answered in the negative, your insurance isn’t as good as what the Japanese have.

Reid was equally impressed with the French private universal system. The French carte vitale especially blew him away. In fact, the only illustration in this 290-page book is a picture of the card of life. This card contains “the patient’s entire medical record back to 1998. Embedded in the gold square just left of center is a digital record of every doctor visit, operation, X-ray, diagnostic test, prescription warning, etc. together with a report on how much the doctor billed for each visit and how much was paid, by insurance funds and by the patients.” The carte vitale (by now virtually every private universal health care system has one) was invented in the United States. But we can’t use it because here we have denials. Denials, coinsurance, and deductibles don’t happen in carte vitale countries. You pay your premium and co-pay. Full stop. Your doctor knows he will get paid in days or weeks. (How long the depends on the country.) Which is to say—abroad they don’t talk about “patient-centered care”. They do it.

It’s not that these other countries don’t have their problems. No-one has figured out how to contain costs—as we age and our bodies break down and caring for us costs more. It’s just that the major losers in the healthcare systems are “the providers of healthcare—doctors, nurses, therapists, and hospitals” not the patients as in the United States. In Japan, that means spartan clinics and old hospitals; in order-loving Germany, the doctors demonstrated for higher pay. I am not saying that doctors and insurance executives are paupers. They are comfortable in the upper middle class; they are simply not in the country club set. On the flip side, no patient fights with an insurance company to cover a life-saving treatment; no-one declares medical bankruptcy. And (possibly because patients don’t feel that the whole system is out to get them) no doctor worries about getting sued. Many of the doctors Reid talked to were not sure how much they pay for malpractice insurance.

There is no one way to make sure that every single person has a right to see a doctor when he is sick. How we do it will depend on our culture. But before we debate what is the right way to do healthcare, we need to decide whether healthcare is a business that benefits insurance companies, doctors, drug manufacturers, investors, hospitals and the like or if it is a service to which we are entitled because we are Americans.

The first question is a moral one. Do we have to buy life or do we have a right to live?

The Healing of America takes us round the world showing how different countries deliver healthcare to their people but it never loses sight of this basic, moral question. I recommend it.
4 people found this helpful
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Dick_Burkhart
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Want Better Health Care in the US? Just Look Overseas
Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2017
This wonderful little book vividly describes what the mainstream media has been hiding from the American people – exactly why other developed countries have both better overall health and far cheaper health care systems than the US. Using a personal quest to fix his sore... See more
This wonderful little book vividly describes what the mainstream media has been hiding from the American people – exactly why other developed countries have both better overall health and far cheaper health care systems than the US. Using a personal quest to fix his sore shoulder, renowned reporter Reid shows how health care actually works in France, Germany, Japan, England, Canada, India, and more. Each system is different, yet they all work better than in the US because they provide universal coverage and eliminate the profit motive. Ironically, the US provides examples of all types health care systems. Medicare is a single payer system (Canada), the VA system is government run (England), employer coverage is the Bismarck model (Germany and Japan), and millions pay out-of-pocket (India).

The details really matter, but the final results are very similar, given a common moral basis: health care is a human right. In France, everyone has a smart card that contains their entire medical history. No clerical staff needed. In the UK, all care is free (the most loved system in the world – all paid for by taxes), and doctors have strong incentives to keep people healthy. Japan severely limits costs by government mandate but has thousands of private, non-profit insurance plans, which must accept all applicants and pay every bill. France and Japan have strictly limited co-pays, except none for the needy. In Germany unemployment benefits include automatic health care. The rich may opt out.
2 people found this helpful
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Jim in Oregon
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you''re interested in health care, this is worth your time
Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2016
That is, this is five stars for anyone who is interested in health care, why the American system is so complicated, and how other countries -- notably, European nations, Japan and Canada -- have systems far less complicated. The USA has all four types of systems that Reid... See more
That is, this is five stars for anyone who is interested in health care, why the American system is so complicated, and how other countries -- notably, European nations, Japan and Canada -- have systems far less complicated. The USA has all four types of systems that Reid describes in this excellent book -- about a subject that he makes interesting despite it being one that could make your eyes glaze over. He tells the story through interviews with doctors and others in America and the other countries, and in each country introduces his own challenge with an errant shoulder and the treatment that was recommended. The book delivers interesting examples of countries where patients have all their medical information on a card the size of a driver license; a country that has insurance companies (as America does) but whose companies are nonprofits and therefore aren''t trying to make profits for shareholders; why doctors in some countries seem willing to put up with significantly lower salaries than in America, for example.
3 people found this helpful
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KHumphrey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent perspective on health care systems in other countries.
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2017
Reid traveled the world to find out how other national health systems work. He gives some history on how the French and German systems evolved, and points out that they are not really "socialized" medicine. In neither case does the government pay medical... See more
Reid traveled the world to find out how other national health systems work. He gives some history on how the French and German systems evolved, and points out that they are not really "socialized" medicine. In neither case does the government pay medical professionals, rather their pay comes for the various NON-PROFIT Insurance pools to which everyone belongs. Since they are non=profit, the systems give quality health care for much less than the US system. The doctors do not earn as much as American Doctors, but they also go to school for free and have no debt when they graduate. Reid does not suggest that any particular system should be adopted by America; he just lays out the choices and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of them. It gives the reader a much wider view of health care systems in general - I knew little about how other systems operated before reading this. And it is not just dry analysis -- he uses a personal slant, trying to see how each system would treat his painful shoulder. I found his book to be a much-needed view of our health system, given all the political stupidity over health care that has gone on recently.
3 people found this helpful
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DesDaz
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Informative, interesting book!
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018
I had to read this book for my health policy and legislation course in grad school. This book is very readable and super interesting. The author describes his personal experiences with health care systems in other industrialized countries that have universal health care... See more
I had to read this book for my health policy and legislation course in grad school. This book is very readable and super interesting. The author describes his personal experiences with health care systems in other industrialized countries that have universal health care for their citizens. He makes the point (frequently) that the U.S. spends far more than these countries in ensuring affordable access to health care for a lot less money. These countries also ensure access to care for all of their citizens while in the U.S. tens of millions of people are uninsured. The U.S. is not a leader in health outcomes for its people, and Reid provides some very good examples of how we could do better.
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Top reviews from other countries

Baraniecki Mark Stuart
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another example of US Special Interests working against the Public
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 25, 2016
On page 164, the author T.R.Reid says that, “.....many Americans have concluded that health care reform is beyond the power of a Democratic government.” which sets the fatalistic tone of the book. He provides an interesting round the world tour of national health care...See more
On page 164, the author T.R.Reid says that, “.....many Americans have concluded that health care reform is beyond the power of a Democratic government.” which sets the fatalistic tone of the book. He provides an interesting round the world tour of national health care systems (and sometimes non-systems) showing for example how the French “Carte Vitale” carries a citizens entire medical history – cutting out a mass of expensive medical bureaucracy. The doctor simply slips the card into a reader and has access the patients full history right on the screen. In Canada a single payer national (or provincial) system allows the government to tightly control all medical cost across the country, with the result that Canadians have the same average level of health as Americans at about half the cost per person. Reid continues with the examples, making it clear that US healthcare is a disaster on any kind of cost/benefit basis, and what is even worse, he shows the US even failing on basic measures of healthcare output such as infant mortality or the DALE rating (How long an average person can expect to live without serious illness or disability) with the US in 24th position behind most developed countries – despite its sky-high spending. He quotes Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution who said, “I look at the U.S. healthcare program and see an administrative monstrosity....”, with the reality being a fine collection of medically related special interests snuggly hooked into, and exploiting a corrupt political process. Like much else to do with the United States government, special interests are looting and impoverishing the country. So maybe American healthcare is just one example among many, as a well connected élite live in a bubble with world-class service, while the great unwashed (general public) get on a best they can, i.e. T.R.Reid''s pessimism is fully justified.
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F33L
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Breathtaking book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 1, 2018
Phew, what a stellar piece of writing. Really opened my eyes to the different medical system around the world. Healthcare professionals should read this to expand their knowledge.
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pedro oscar rezende cunha
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 5, 2016
Must read for everyone interested in health systems around the world.
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Quattro Bernhardt
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
great to finally be able to read a bit about ...
Reviewed in Canada on June 16, 2017
great to finally be able to read a bit about different styles of health care provided in the world. Its not a technical or studied analysis, more just anecdotal based on the author''s travels and interactions with the health care system in the places he visited. But still,...See more
great to finally be able to read a bit about different styles of health care provided in the world. Its not a technical or studied analysis, more just anecdotal based on the author''s travels and interactions with the health care system in the places he visited. But still, good exposure, and raises some fundamental questions that every industrialized country without a universal health care system should consider (spoiler alert: there''s only one such country).
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spruce tree
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Healthcare for ALL
Reviewed in Canada on February 17, 2014
Every legislator should read this and make decisions about our healthcare using this information. Affordable, universal health care is available. How does our healthcare system compare to other industrialized nations? READ THIS BOOK!
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