"Healing of America" book club discussion
Katie Carpenter | 09.30.13
Across Central Pennsylvania this summer, community discussion groups have been gathering to talk about The Washington Post correspondent and National Public Radio commentator T. R. Reid 's book, "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care."
Aligning Forces for Quality - South Central PA teamed up with the Central PA library systems, as well as WITF to encourage residents to start discussing health care in our communities and ideas for making improvements. Take a look:
In groups like this one, an important conversation has begun about the current state of health care in our country and ideas for making improvements.
The book chronicles Reid’s visits to five countries searching for a cure for both a decades-old shoulder injury and what ails America’s health-care system. His findings are surprising (Indian herbal ointments, massage and Hindu prayers seemed best to heal his aching shoulder) and somewhat alarming. As Reid notes, more than 45,000 Americans in the prime of their lives who cannot afford to see a doctor die each year.
Kate Hufnagel, one of the members in this discussion group, says, "My first takeaway was 'Isn’t it great that here we have five other countries that are looked at in-depth with the same same problem of- how do we provide adequate basic healthcare in an affordable manner to our population?' And, they all had answers that worked!"
At its root, Reid argues, our government's failure to make health care a moral imperative yields tragic results. He says:
“It’s a national problem – a national scandal, really - that is undermining the physical and fiscal health of every American.”
After visiting and studying the health-care models in Canada, France, Germany, India, and Japan, he finds “Countries that are just as committed as we are to equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the free market have concluded that everybody has a right to health care – and they provide it. One result is that most rich countries have better national health statistics – longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, better recovery rates from major diseases – than the United States does. Yet all the other rich countries spend far less on health care than the United States does.” Read more.
In this episode of Radio Smart Talk, T.R. Reid discusses Obamacare, what it has or could accomplish, if it goes far enough, and will it work to control costs and improve quality.