Magazine May 25, 2009, Issue

Socialized Failure

Dissecting health-care data from Britain, Canada, and elsewhere

The health-care systems of all developed countries face three unrelenting problems: rising costs, inadequate quality, and incomplete access to care. A slew of recent articles, published mainly in medical journals, suggest that the health-care systems of other countries are superior to ours on all these fronts. Yet the articles are at odds with a substantial economic literature.

What follows is a brief review of the evidence. As other writers demonstrate elsewhere in this issue, the American health-care system has plenty of problems. But it is not inferior to other developed countries’ systems — and we should therefore not be looking to

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Socialized Failure

The health-care systems of all developed countries face three unrelenting problems: rising costs, inadequate quality, and incomplete access to care. A slew of recent articles, published mainly in medical journals, ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Diagnosis

We are bombarded with messages about the need for health-care reform. But we are not always clear about the problem we are trying to solve. Most Americans are satisfied with ...
Politics & Policy

Placebo

The key congressional committees have yet to introduce the legislation that will carry Democrats’ hopes for “universal coverage” — i.e., a government guarantee that all Americans will have health insurance, ...
Politics & Policy

Prescription

The most powerful constituency in the debate over the future of health care in the United States comprises those families enrolled in stable, employer-based health plans run by large and ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Hinge of History

In this important debut book, Michael Kimmage — a young scholar who promises to become one of America’s preeminent intellectual historians — addresses himself to the journeys of two Columbia ...
Politics & Policy

Four Nights

Salzburg, Austria The summer festival that takes place here in this fair city is a very big deal: probably the most prominent music festival in the world. It stretches for ...
Politics & Policy

A Strange Voyage

Across more than 40 years of Star Trek — the five television incarnations, the eleven motion pictures, the galaxy knows how many novels — there have been few sequences as ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ In a recent press conference, a New York Times reporter asked President Obama what had “enchanted” him the most during his first 100 days as president. Obama might have ...
The Bent Pin

The Bent Pin

Pleasantly Peasantry The sudden transformation of the American consumer from drunken sailor to Silas Marner is the talk of the economic meltdown. After barely a year of hard times, we have ...
The Long View

The Long View

The Literary Arlen Specter From the Oresteia of Aeschylus, trans. Arlen Specter: [Enter Chorus of Argive elders, very old men who carry staves to help them stand up. As they speak, servants ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THE INHERITANCE Blond, you favored your mother, But named John, after your dad, You inherited all he had: A farm in debt, an old hound, Long-horns and Rhode Island Reds, Guinea and pea fowl, A family of ...
Happy Warrior

Happy Warrior

I was in one of those hotels where they give you the New York Times whether you want it or not. And, even if you leave it in the corridor, ...

Most Popular

World

China’s Pandemic Deception

You’ve made it to December in our annus horribilis. On the menu today: sorting through CNN’s fascinating but not completely illuminating bombshell involving leaked documents from the Hubei, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, filling in some details about the early days of the pandemic. More ... Read More
World

China’s Pandemic Deception

You’ve made it to December in our annus horribilis. On the menu today: sorting through CNN’s fascinating but not completely illuminating bombshell involving leaked documents from the Hubei, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, filling in some details about the early days of the pandemic. More ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Corporate-Woke Complex

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that several multinational corporations including Apple and Nike are lobbying against legislation that would ban products from China’s Xinjiang province, many of which are made by forced Uyghur labor. Lobbyists are arguing that, although their clients oppose forced labor ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Corporate-Woke Complex

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that several multinational corporations including Apple and Nike are lobbying against legislation that would ban products from China’s Xinjiang province, many of which are made by forced Uyghur labor. Lobbyists are arguing that, although their clients oppose forced labor ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Cinderella Man 2

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, and, this week, film criticism. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox as God and John Wayne intended, please follow this link. The Mona Lisa of Hillbilly Literature The Ron Howard film Hillbilly Elegy, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Cinderella Man 2

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, and, this week, film criticism. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox as God and John Wayne intended, please follow this link. The Mona Lisa of Hillbilly Literature The Ron Howard film Hillbilly Elegy, ... Read More
Culture

Our Real Systemic Problem

America’s got a problem that’s systemic in nature. This problem has less to do with individual intentions than the structure within which our intentions are formed. That structure explains a great deal about observed disparities in wealth, and other advantages, between various racial and ethnic groups. It ... Read More
Culture

Our Real Systemic Problem

America’s got a problem that’s systemic in nature. This problem has less to do with individual intentions than the structure within which our intentions are formed. That structure explains a great deal about observed disparities in wealth, and other advantages, between various racial and ethnic groups. It ... Read More