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Washington Post reporter discusses US health care

T.R. Reid, current Washington Post reporter, spoke at the Tuscaloosa River Market on Thursday. CW | Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson

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Reid’s book “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care” is a New York Times bestseller.

When asked why college students in particular should be interested in health care reform, Reid said health care will be a driving force of tomorrow’s economy that today’s youth will have to 
deal with.

“Americans spend twice as much as any other country on medicine, and yet we’re covering fewer people and getting less service,” Reid said.

Reid examined four health care models found in the 30-some-odd countries that rank above the United States in the World Health Organization’s rankings on health care.

Reid’s visit and his research could have broader implications for both Tuscaloosa and the nation’s approach to health care.

“I think everyone agrees that our educational system, technology and health care providers contribute to the excellence we are known for, yet it is also recognized that we have flaws in our systems and processes that contribute to high costs, uncovered lives and outcomes that trail many less sophisticated countries,” said David Nichols, the chief operating officer of the College of Community Health Sciences.

“T.R. Reid’s inquisitive mind and approach to the questions he raised should spur our learners and providers to work even harder to bring improvements in outcomes, coverage gaps and, hopefully, lower costs,” 
he said.

The learners Nichols refers to are largely students at the University who are interested in health care. Several were in 
attendance Thursday.

“It’s really important to see that our country is moving forward toward a better health care system, but we’re still behind,” said attendee Rick Lewis, a freshman majoring in biology. “Like Reid says, we have to establish a desire for change in the U.S., and once we establish a will, other countries will show us the way.”

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Washington Post reporter discusses US health care