Tuesday 29 September 2009

Health Reform Matters!

This past weekend I read an excellent review in the Washington Post (online) of THE HEALING OF AMERICA - A Global Quest For Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, by T.R. Reid Penguin Press.

It's in a column by Phillip Longman entitled "Not a Socialized World After All" Sunday, September 27, 2009 - The Washington Post

Here are the first few paragraphs, with a link to the rest of it:

During last year's Republican presidential primary season, candidate Rudy Giuliani succinctly captured what millions of Americans think about health care abroad. "These countries that say they provide universal coverage -- they pay a price for it, you know," Giuliani told his audience. "They do it by rationing care, by long waiting lines, and by limiting, or I should say eliminating a patient's choice."

T.R. Reid has done a service to his nation by showing in his latest book just how uninformed this conventional wisdom is. Based on his own experience and research, "The Healing of America" is both readable and informative.

Many decades ago, Reid suffered an accident while in the Navy that left him with a bum shoulder, a condition that, while not acutely painful, became increasingly bothersome as he aged. During his long career working as a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, he and his family received high-quality, routine care from doctors in places like Tokyo and London. These two circumstances provided Reid with the inspiration for his book and set him off on "a quest for two cures." He traveled around the world, visiting doctors in places as diverse as Taiwan, France and India to see how their health care systems would approach treating his shoulder pain, and in the process he searched for insights to cure the U.S. health care crisis.
Gain a better global perspective by reading Longman's complete column here.

And today I read a friend's (Carolyn Yoder's) first-person response to the health care coverage reform issue - and she mentions the same book. Her opinions can be read in the current issue of The Mennonite (online) here.

She is currently living in Armenia ... and she sure does a great job articulating the key issues! (I hope you take the time to read it all the way to the end.)

One of the big problems in America, as usual, is that too many people lack a global perspective, and thus fail to understand how their myopic opinions pander into the strategies of BIG MONEY interests that are vying for control of their lives.

They need to live somewhere else sometime (or develop international connections and relationships) so they can see how "the public option" can actually work, in some places quite effectively.

Otherwise, America could begin dealing more rationally and constructively with this massive problem!

-Clair, in Canberra

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