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thsghgwhhmost countries rely on free-market enterprise to provide health care---but not to pay for it...The fundamental difference here is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to

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Book Review



T.R. Reid: The Healing Of America

By Vadim Rizov•

Sep 10, 2009 • 12AM


The Healing Of America Author: T.R. Reid Publisher: Penguin Press

Over and over in The Healing Of America: A Global Quest For Better, Cheaper, And Fairer Health Care, journalist T.R. Reid repeats the same rhetorical question: “Does a wealthy country have an ethical obligation to provide access to health care for everybody?” For Reid, the answer is obviously yes. His other refrain: If America has the greatest health insurance in the world, why does no other first-world country model its system on ours? Answering those questions, Reid has written an unabashed, invaluable pro-health-care-reform book. Its timing is suspiciously apt, but it’s no quick cash-in volume. Well-researched and concisely argued, it makes an excellent case for health-care reform as primarily a moral rather than an economic imperative, but Reid has the numbers too, and they’re equally compelling.

Reid begins with the standard notion that any kind of public health care is a slippery slope to the communist takeover of America. He neatly fillets it in two parts—pointing out how many countries with supposedly “socialized” medicine have private insurers and/or doctors, and that the widely praised Department Of Veterans Affairs is pure socialized medicine in action. Having neatly dispatched the buzzword that shuts down any rational discussion, Reid gets busy, visiting other countries to see their weaknesses and strengths in