I watch Frontline's Sick Around the World documentary last night and really recommend it to all as a sober examination of the healthcare issues that are such a high priority in America today.
Here's a preview below. You can watch the whole program online.
What I found most insightful about T.R. Reid's reporting was the clear and practical way he looked at the pros and cons of the national health systems in the U.K., Japan, Germany and Switzerland. Even more impressive was learning how Taiwan went about reinventing their healthcare system by drawing on the best elements of programs around the world.
I certainly hope we can follow such a practical process to turn around the fragmented U.S. healthcare situation, which the Harvard-trained architect of the Taiwan program noted is not a system, but rather a market. Finally, I know that the politics of healthcare is a hot-button issue, and that many Americans are very wary about the role of government in healthcare (even though we are already a quasi-nationalized system via the Veterans Administration and Medicare/Medicaid).
What I liked most about this investigation is its positive and constructive tone: what can we learn from the rest of the world, and how can we be smart about the evolution that most Americans hunger for?