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Mending the United States' broken health care system

February 17, 2009

T.R. Reid, an American foreign correspondent for the 'Washington Post,' a frequent guest on NPR's 'Morning Edition,' and author of nine books, reveals that the United States ranks number 37 among other nations in health care rankings.

Politics of Health Care

T.R. Reid, foreign correspondent and columnist for the Washington Post and commentator on NPR's Morning Edition, will be on campus Thursday, Feb. 19 at noon to talk about mending the United State's ailing (broken) health care system.

His talk, Politics of health care 2009: What I learned while making PBS documentaries, which takes place in the Lory Student Center West Ballroom, will look at the U.S. medical system and efforts for reform, including those of the Obama administration. 

Established models of health care systems

Reid is well qualified to speak about the issue of health care system reform.  He appears in Frontline's Sick Around the World, a documentary which reports the results of a study by the World Health Organization which examined every health care system on earth.  The World Health Organization rated the United States, the world's richest country, 37th in terms of quality and fairness.  

Reid, the author of nine books, has finished his 10th, titled We're number 37! The book will be published early in 2009.

France and Japan rated excellent for health care 

The same study rated France as number one in the world with a private insurance system that covers 61 million residents with excellent health care results.  Administrative costs are three percent compared to the United States' 25 percent, and the terms "in-network" or "pre-authorization" do not exist in their health care lexicon.

In a question and answer with Frontline, Reid (who has lived in Japan) said, "In Japan my local government, Shibuya-ku -- it's a part of Tokyo -- sent me a card every year on my birthday, urging me to get a comprehensive physical.
"I could go to any doctor or hospital in Shibuya, and the whole thing was free. When I did it, they checked everything -- and I mean everything -- that a man my age might have to worry about. This was a terrific example of preventive medicine."

Reid one of America's best-known foreign correspondents

T.R. Reid is the author of five books in English and two in Japanese. Through his reporting for The Washington Post, his syndicated weekly column, and his light-hearted commentary from around the world for National Public Radio, he has become one of America’s best-known foreign correspondents. Reid currently lives in Denver.

T.R. Reid interview

Watch Sick Around the World online

Contact: Deb Morris
Phone: (970) 491-1723