An important new contribution to the health care reform debate adds some much needed global perspective to the pervasive political rancor. Author T.R. Reid’s newly published book, The Healing of America, has been cited by reviewers as a series of serious and lucid insights into how medicine is practiced around the world and how different countries have crafted a mix of private and public resources to achieve broad if not universal coverage.
Reid sought treatment for a chronic shoulder ailment in ten different countries with ten different medical cultures and healthcare financing systems. The resulting medical advice spans a spectrum of treatment plans and personal choices. T.R. Reid has also begun fielding questions in the blogosphere. We think this global view is vital to surfacing policy alternatives that should be debated in Congress, and we hope our elected representatives can rise above the fray by taking the time to learn what Mr. Reid is reporting based on his worldwide experience with comparative healthcare.