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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Larry James » Archives for Larry James

By Larry James on March 3, 2010

Here are the final collection of quotes from The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care:

Which inequalities will society tolerate? Is it acceptable that some people are left to die because they can’t see a doctor when they get sick? That question encompasses a more basic question: Is health care a human right?... Is medicine a commodity to be bought and sold, a product like a car, a computer, a camera?... The creation of a national health care system involves political, economic, and medical decisions, but the primary decision to be made is a moral one (p. 212).

Twenty two thousand Americans (USA) die each year from treatable diseases (because they do not have health care) (p. 217).

Does a wealthy country have an ethical obligation to provide access to health care for everybody? Do we want to live in a society that lets tens of thousands of our neighbors die each year, and hundreds of thousands face financial ruin, because they can’t afford medical care when they’re sick?... Every developed country except the United States has reached the same conclusion: Everybody should have access to medical care. Having made that decision, the other nations have organized health care systems to meet that fundamental moral goal. ...

At the start of the twenty-first century, the world’s richest and most powerful nation does not have the world’s best health care system. But we could… We can heal America’s ailing health care system – and the world’s other industrialized democracies can show us how to do it (p. 239).

Read more of this post here ...

By Larry James on March 1, 2010

The following from T. R. Reid's important book, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care:

Even if we found good ideas in other countries, could the United States find the political will at home to use them? One basic political truth about American health care is that our system is strongly resistant to change. The vested interests that are doing well in the health business now – insurance companies, hospital chains, pharmaceutical companies – have blocked significant restructuring of our system (p. 22).

All the developed countries I looked at provide health coverage for every resident, old or young, rich or poor. This is the underlying moral principle of the health care system in every rich country – every one, that is, except the United States (p. 23).

Every country on earth faces difficult problems in providing medical care to its people. Nobody’s system is perfect. There are health care horror stories in every wealthy country – and they’re true… But for all of their problems, the other industrialized countries tend to do better than the United States on basic measures of health system performance: coverage, quality, cost control, choice. What are we doing wrong? (pp. 26-27).

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By Larry James on February 26, 2010

As promised, here's more from the important book, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, by T. R. Reid

Our nation's healthcare system has become excessively expensive, ineffective, and unjust. Among the world's developed nations, the United States stands at or near the bottom in most important rankings of access to and quality of medical care. (pp. 8-9).

The thesis of this book is that we can bring about fundamental change by borrowing ideas from foreign models of health care. For me, that conclusion stems from personal experience. I’ve worked overseas for years as a foreign correspondent; our family has lived on three continents, and we’ve used the health care systems in other wealthy countries with satisfaction. But many Americans intensely dislike the idea that we might learn useful policy ideas from other countries, particularly in medicine. (p. 11).

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By Larry James on February 24, 2010

Over the next few days and posts I intend to share quotes from a rather remarkable book, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care [New York: The Penguin Press, 2009] by T. R. Reid.

The subject of the book has grown in importance to me as this past week I learned of a young man who is my friend who is facing brain surgery and has no health coverage, public or private. Unless something changes, after any treatment he receives his "pre-existing condition" will end any chance of coverage going forward.

T. R. Reid is not afraid to bring a moral argument to this discussion. I appreciate that about him.

Here's the first installment...

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By Larry James on February 23, 2010


The economic meltdown should have undone, once and for all, the idea of poverty as a personal shortcoming or dysfunctional state of mind.

Earlier this month, my friend Randy Mayeux presented a synopsis of Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich at this month's installment of the Urban Engagement Book Club, a CDM public policy initiative.

Ehrenreich authored the remarkable book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

In her new book, she suggests that “positive thinking” is not always all that positive. At least not in all circumstances. Here is an excerpt from the last page of the book...

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By Larry James on February 23, 2010

Jesus: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor" (Luke 4:18).

Jewish Wisdom: "By insulting the poor, you insult your Creator. . . . the Lord blesses everyone who freely gives food to poor" (Proverbs 17:5; 22:9).

South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer: "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

By Larry James on February 22, 2010

Gerald Britt turned me on to Dr. Cornell West's new book, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir.

No doubt worth a careful read.

By Larry James on February 20, 2010

For a fascinating and very important interview Big Think interview with Dr. Kate Pickett, Epidemiologist, University of York, click here. If you decide to watch the interview via the link, be aware that she is answering questions that appear on the screen during the interview and that break up her comments.

The information shared here is extremely important as we think about income inequality and the urban centers of the United States.

One takeaway: whether we like it or not, we're all in this life together. Here is a transcript of the conversation for those who prefer to read rather than watch and listen...

Read more of this post here ...

By Larry James on February 19, 2010

In teaching American history to university students who've taken classes here at Central Dallas Ministries, I've always used Howard Zinn's classic People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present as one of my textbooks.

Zinn told the story of the United States from the "underside." He wrote from the grass up, rather than from the top down, as is typical of most texts available to students and teachers. To be sure, reading Zinn challenges many of our traditional assumptions and popular myths.

Howard Zinn died this month. He will be missed. His footprints will continue to guide those seeking truth, justice and unity as a people.

Read more of this post here ...

By Larry James on February 18, 2010

2010 blasted off for us. Thanks to American Recovery Act funding, we have been able to assist scores of families with rent and utility assistance that, undoubtedly, has kept many in homes and off the tough Dallas streets. We're very grateful for our partnership with the City of Dallas (fiscal agent for the federal funds) that allows us to meet so many really great families who are trying hard to stabilize in the down economy.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by Larry James:

Want to see more blog posts by Larry James? We have more! By default, this page only lists a few of the most recent entries. Most of the entries that our authors post are very timeless and relevant, regardless of when their articles are originally published.

We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for Larry James. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

To see the rest of this author's entries, just click on any of the months shown in the right sidebar column of this page.

If you want to browse other topics, you can also check our Table of Contents or go back to our Front Page. Stick around awhile! We're glad you're here.


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This is an archive for Larry James. To learn more about this author, you can also read a Biography for Larry James here.

Just a few of most current posts by Larry James are excerpted in the center of this page.

However, we do have links, below, to all of the entries ever published by this author.

To browse archived entries by Larry James, just scroll down this same sidebar column. You'll see the links for all of this author's blog entries, grouped by month and year.

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