Date: 01/08/2009

Sick Around the World


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

01:31 PM -- Introductions

Senator Boyd called the meeting to order. Representative Riesberg asked the committee to fill out information on the best way they can be reached and provide that to staff. Representative Riesberg introduced T.R. Reid author of the documentary "Sick Around the World." Representative Riesberg stated that the joint committee would be watching his documentary during the committee hearing.

01:33 PM -- "Sick Around the World" T.R. Reid

T.R. Reid, writer and author of the documentary "Sick Around the World" provided background on his documentary. He stated that the documentary is a comparison of industrialized nation's health care systems, such as Germany, Switzerland, and Japan.

01:36 PM

The committee watched the documentary "Sick Around the World" by T.R. Reid.

02:31 PM

T.R. Reid, writer and author of Sick Around the World, made some comments regarding the documentary. He stated that many people he interviewed in the documentary believe that wealthy nations are obligated to provide health care to all its citizens and that access to healthcare is a right. He stated that the mechanism to provide healthcare to every person in the United States exists. He described his thoughts on how to start the process and pointed out that other countries have approached it on the federal level. He pointed out that Canada's universal health care system started in the province of Saskatchewan. After other provinces saw that they system was successful in Saskatchewan, the other provinces copied the plan.

02:38 PM

The committee asked several questions to T.R. Reid.

03:05 PM

Representative Riesberg opened up the discussion to the public.

Drew Ritledge asked Mr. Reid about the difference in specific costs between the countries, for example the cost of an MRI in America and Japan. Mr. Reid referred to his book, Healing America. He stated that its hard to compare the difference in costs. There was some discussion around the notion of 'true cost.'

03:13 PM

Dr. Carol Farina asked Mr. Reid about not-for-profits and how they might fit into the equation. Mr. Reid responded that Dr. Farina might be asking how non-profits can run health care. He stated that for a long time hospitals were run by non-profits until the 1980s when large insurance companies began to purchase hospitals.

03:15 PM

Dr. Diane Lucas, pediatrician, commented that many people do not have adequate health insurance coverage. She asked Mr. Reid if there was any commentary on this in his travels making the documentary. He stated this does not happen in other countries.

03:18 PM

Mark Simon asked Mr. Reid about a 'standard basic package" and how that interacts with disabled or long-term care in the countries mentioned in his documentary. Mr. Reid stated that every country defines their basic package. He stated that one way Britain controls cost is that they put an age limit on some benefits. He made a comment that in Britain their decision making process regarding their benefits is extremely transparent.

03:22 PM

Bart Windrom asked Mr. Reid about end of life discussions. Mr. Reid stated that most countries have a similar situation where a large percentage of costs goes to a small percentage of people.

03:29 PM

Representative Riesberg thanked Mr. Reid. He provided information to the committee regarding the upcoming session. The committee adjourned.