book reviews on books I've read
T.R. Reid’s insightful look at America’s health care system and all of its failings come to light in this book. Reid looks at the health care systems used internationally and comes up with a prescription for universal, affordable coverage. Specifically, he addresses President Obama’s health care reform law and pronounces its shortcomings, and comes to the conclusion that 23 million Americans will remain without coverage even after the law takes effect in 2014.
Of all of the systems that Reid looks at, I like the “Bismark” system of France and Germany. In this system, coverage is not only universal and affordable, but it relies on non-profit insurance companies to do the work of insuring millions of citizens. In both of these systems, each patient has a medical card with his patient history encoded on a microchip. This gets added to each time the patient visits a provider, thus eliminating replication of care and the need for each patient to be a careful historian.
Basically, Reid states that America needs to rethink its health care priorities. Instead of accepting that the poor and those with pre-existing conditions will inevitably be excluded from the system, we need to view health care as a right for every American. This way, no one is left out. I support Reid’s thesis and suggest that this book be required reading for every American voter.