Book Review: The Healing of America

image courtesy

Reid, T. R. The healing of America : a global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care. Penguin Press, 2009.

Washington Post correspondent T. R. Reid took his injured shoulder to doctors around the world to see how their health care systems would treat his shoulder pain. His American orthopedist recommended that his shoulder be replaced with a man-made titanium device. The orthopedist in France recommended physical therapy to strengthen the muscular system in his shoulder. In India, he received herbal medicines and full-body massages with sesame oil, with surprisingly good results.

The purpose of Reid’s quest was to find out why health care in other free market economies have better outcomes at a lower cost than in the U.S. On basic measures of health systems performance: coverage, quality, cost control and choice, the U.S. is far behind other countries. Reid concludes that in the U.S., the cost is higher due to the complexity of our health care system and the way American health insurance is managed. U.S. private health insurance has the highest administrative costs of any health care payer in the world.

Reid presents several health care models, including the Bismarck model used in Germany, Japan and France; the Beverage model used in the UK, Italy and Spain; and the national health insurance model in Canada. These countries combine universal coverage and government regulation with entrepreneurialism and respect for private markets to produce high-quality, low-cost health care for all.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Tags: ,

4 Responses to “Book Review: The Healing of America”

  1. Ford Library Blog » Blog Archive » The Director’s Picks – January 2010 Says:

    […] The Healing of America: a global quest for better, cheaper and fairer health care by T.R. Reid.Describes health care models in free-market economies that provide health care for everyone at a reasonable cost. Read the full review. […]

  2. Jason Beesly Says:

    In other words, business owners of healthcare systems are not competitive in pricing. I also believe that two other reasons for the cost differences are in the fact we have poor lifestyle habits, and we are very demanding in terms of receiving the best medicine, and therefore latest (most expensive) technologies in our healthcare.

  3. Jason Ozur Says:

    I was shocked to read about your study of how different countries treated your shoulder with so many different ways, from surgery, to massage, herbs, and physical therapy. I think we need more case studies of how effective our healthcare is and what is the best way to treat. Maybe the govenment will give more grants to further understand our system and to make it more effective.

  4. havalandırma Says:

    I also believe that two other reasons for the cost differences are in the fact we have poor lifestyle habits

Leave a Reply