T.R. Reid

Public option? Single payer? Insurance co-ops? Mandatory health insurance? Forty million uninsured! Preexisting conditions? Socialized medicine? Tax credits? Rationing? Death panels?!? You’re making our head spin! Can’t somebody stop the national health-care reform debate? NPR contributor and journalist T.R. Reid makes just such an attempt in The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (Penguin, $25.95). Something like Michael Moore in Sicko, but with a considerably more measured tone, Reid tours around the world to see how other countries balance public health with private profit. (His trip was also documented last year on Frontline.) The ills of our own system he attributes to market fragmentation (many different plans, both public and private) and a corporate ethos that makes it unprofitable to insure the sick and needy. As Reid wrote last month in The Washington Post, “Foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people’s medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.” One question, of course, remains: Will those wing-nut town hall hecklers show up at Town Hall? BRIAN MILLER

Tue., Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2009

 
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