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Please begin with an informative title:

T.R. Reid's book "The Healing of America" was published in 2009, but the U.S. Supreme Court justices might want to have a look at it today.

Reid traveled the globe in search of a model health care system and a cure for his partly disabled shoulder.  

We, the people of the U.S., can benefit from the information he shares.

Here are some excerpts from my favorite chapter "The Paradox."


...In the richest country on earth, there are children going to bed at night with an earache, with a toothache, with an asthma attack that leaves them gasping for the next breath, because their parents don't dare face a doctor bill.  In other developed countries, those sick children would see a doctor and get the medicine they need regardless of the family's income...When the World Health Organization rated the national health care systems of 191 countries in terms of "fairness," the United States ranked fifty-fourth...The cohort of Americans  who don't have health insurance on any given day numbers over 45 million (about 15 percent of the population)...

...Among nineteen wealthy countries, the United States ranked nineteenth in curing people who could be cured with decent care...Among...nine rich nations, the per-capita rate of "Deaths Due to Surgical or Medical Mishaps" was the highest by far in the USA.....out of twenty-three wealthy countries, the American health care system ranks dead last when it comes to keeping newborns alive...A key reason...is that other countries offer free prenatal and neonatal care for every mother and every baby...
And here's the kicker:

...the United States is by far the world's biggest spender on health care.  Whether measured as a percentage of the nation's GDP or as per-capita spending, we pour roughly twice as much into medicine as other rich countries do...The administrative patchwork makes everything about American medicine more complex and more expensive than it needs to be...

The three key elements for making things better, according to Reid are:

..everybody is covered in the same system by the same set of rules.  All other rich nations have em braced this basic principle, because they think it's fairer if everybody in the country has the same access to the same level of care.  They find a single system is much easier to administer, with one set of forms to fill out, one book of rules, and one price list.  As an economic principle, a unified system is a powerful force for cost control. Since the single health care system is the only buyer of medical services, it has enormous market clout in negotiating fees with doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and so on.  That's why an MRI scan that costs $1,200 in Denver is prices at $98 in Tokyo...
A unified health care system that works the same for everybody doesn't necessarily equate to a single-payer system...[There may be] several, or many , different insurance plans...


..most 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 pay people's medical bills, not to make a profit..

And finally:

...every developed country except the United States has designed a health care system that covers every resident.  Universal coverage has to come first [before cost control]...Covering everybody in a unified system creates a powerful political dynamic for managing the cost of health care....Universal coverage also enhances health care results by improving the overall health of a nation...


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The U.S. Supreme Court will see the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act and uphold it.

42%17 votes
27%11 votes
30%12 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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