Old Japan hand T.R. Reid was last seen reporting from Colorado on the Kobe Bryant rape charge as the first, only, and probably last WaPo Rocky Mountain Bureau correspondent. (There was a video clip on the WaPo website back in the day, when it was hip to say back in the day (or so we thought).) Now, he has taken time out from writing his book on healthcare to star in a documentary on… what else? Healthcare. Enjoy.
Surprising for a Nihongo-phone like T.R. Reid, the video erroneously says that there’s no wait in Japanese hospitals. So very not so, sir. Otherwise, it’s to the point. Also, fair and balanced. No kidding.
Actually, I’ve been giving some thought to Japanese healthcare, and I’ve come to the conclusion that queues are essential to an affordable, effective and, yes, efficient universal healthcare system. I think that I’ve also come across some other features of the Japanese healthcare system that make more sense when you stop depending on conventional wisdom and outdated news reports to make your case.
ADD April 18: I've noticed that my last comment could be misconstrued as an attack on Tom. Not so, I am criticizing commentary that is diametrically opposed to his take. The Japanese healthcare system has many shortcomings, but so much of conventional wisdom does not take into account the fact that they are so often the result of unavoidable choices when the government is compelled to directly intervene in a market that is not a natural monopoly.