The Corner

Cohn and Health Care

Cohn’s piece on France’s health care system reads like a sort of outtake to his new book on health care, Sick. I read it recently, and I think it may be the first book on health-care policy that might accurately be described as “a good read.” It’s filled with well-reported individual stories about various medical crises and some nicely summarized background detail on how our current health system evolved. But, as AEI’s Sally Satel noted in her NYT review this weekend, although it does a solid job of giving journalistic color to a number of unfortunate cases, it provides precious little in the way of solutions—only a brief, not terribly compelling sketch in the final chapter. The strength of the book—its reliance on storytelling—is also its weakness, at least as an argument for universal health care. By focusing so much on a scattered handful of people and individual stories, Cohn leaves little room for the intricacies of policy (which, of course, is probably a large part of the reason why one might be able to describe it as “a good read”).

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