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Dr. Zeke Emanuel
Credit: Courtesy of Candace diCarlo of Public Affairs

How’s our country's health care? Not the worst, or the best

Dr. Ezekiel (Zeke) Emanuel is an oncologist, a medical ethicist, and the author of Which Country Has the World's Best Health Care? One partial answer to the question his book poses is, not the world’s two superpowers.

Maybe a pandemic isn’t the best time to critique the state of global health care systems, or maybe it’s an opportunity. We spend more on health care in the United States than any other country, nearly $4 trillion a year, but our system, like many, suffers from terrible flaws. There are improvements to be made, and some countries are experiencing better outcomes. What can we learn from them?

Emanuel compared eleven health care systems around the globe in search of excellence and dysfunction. While he found faults in every system, certain best practices became clear. His takeaway recommendations for the U.S. include: find a way to provide universal coverage, simplify how data is shared and how insurance programs operate, and regulate drug prices.

Dr. Emanuel is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. As you’ll hear, he’s a big fan of Ellenos yogurt, and the quality of the questions he received from the Town Hall Seattle audience. His talk was presented by Town Hall on June 25.