Ask Brill Anything: Overpaying For Worse Care

Steven lets us know how poorly the US healthcare system ranks compared to other developed nations, with a follow-up regarding which free market-based reforms we should pursue to help remedy that:

Brill recently debated this same topic on Fareed Zakaria GPS. Yesterday, Steven explained how hospitals have become so profitable. Before that, he gave us an overview of why US healthcare is so expensive. You can also go herehere and here to read our coverage of his stunningly good Time cover-story, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us”.  A reader chimes in:

Have been enjoying your Ask Anything videos with Steven Brill so much so that I bought the Time Magazine issue containing his article. This all reminds me of reading T.R. Reid’s, Healing of America a few years ago.  For the book, Reid, a longtime journalist and foreign correspondent for several news organizations, took his bum shoulder for treatment in a multitude of healthcare systems around the world.  He looked at all kinds of health system schemes and lists and compared the kudos and flaws in each.  He also showed the US reader the areas of socialized medicine we have in America that are working well and, in fact, are taken for granted by us as US citizens.  (More praise and a more complete review of Reid’s book here.)

When we met Mr. Reid at a lecture in Portland, OR, in 2007, he noted that the medical system he would personally choose, as a parent, would be the British system where everything is free and an aggressive system for preventative health care is in place to keep the populace in a generally healthy state most of the time.  For myself, after reading his book, I felt envious of the French with their little medical ID card carrying all their medical info wherever they went.  Any doctor a patient consults can have up-to-date personal information without keeping mounds of paperwork in his back room or needing to employ several people to sit for hours a day transcribing medical codes into what an insurance company with or will not pay for.

Ask Anything archive here.