Yesterday I took a step towards making good on #6 in the life category of my New Years Resolutions by finishing reading my first book of 2010. The book is called "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care", written by T.R. Reid. I had heard a segment of a talk by the author on NPR and it sounded pretty interesting, so I decided to read the book. I read the book on Roanne's Kindle, which was a first for me. I would say that the book was moderately interesting, here are the main points:
- The U.S. spends the most in the world on healthcare (16% of GDP) but does not have anywhere close to the best healthcare performance (measured in terms of mortality rates, life expectancy, and other statistics).
- The reason that American healthcare is so expensive is it's for-profit insurance companies, they routinely spend 20% of their budget on non-healthcare expenditures (as compared with 2-5% in most other countries), and have high motivation to deny insurance to those that need it (sick people) since it will eat into their profits.