Sick

SICK….My review of Jon Cohn’s Sick, a critique/history of the American healthcare system, is now available at the Columbia Journalism Review site. I basically praised the book, which is very good, but then added this:

The format of Sick almost begs for narratives about overseas health care systems. The book is basically a tour around America, with each of its eight chapters named after the place in which its story unfolds. So why not include chapters on Manchester, Malmö, and Marseilles, each of them highlighting in narrative form both the good and bad points of the British, Swedish, and French systems?

….In an increasingly globalized world, the war on terror has sobered us to the dangers of crippling the foreign reporting and institutional memory of all but a handful of national newspapers. Health care may be about to remind us of this in an entirely new context. Anyone for reopening that Stockholm bureau?

I wrote this before Michael Moore’s Sicko was released, and was delighted to find out that going overseas was exactly what Moore had done. But I’d still like to see someone do the more wonkish book version of this.

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