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“The Universal Laws of Health Care Systems:

1. "No matter how good the health care in a particular country, people will complain about it"
2. "No matter how much money is spent on health care, the doctors and hospitas will argue that it is not enough"
3. "The last reform always failed”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“A lot of what we "know" about other nations' approach to health care is simply myth.”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“Believe me," Dr. Tamalet summed up, "if you wanted that operation in France, you could get it"

Which is, of course, the boon and the bane of France's health care system. It offers a maximum of free choice among skillful doctors and well-equipped hospitals, with little or not waiting, at bargain-basement prices [in out-of-pocket terms to the consumer]. It's a system that enables the French to live longer and healthier lives, with zero risk of financial loss due to illness. But somebody has to pay for all that high-quality, ready-when-you-need-it care--and the patients, so far, have not been willing to do so. As a result, the major health insurance funds are all operating at a deficit, and the costs of the health care system are increasing significantly faster than the economy as a whole. That's why the doctors keep striking and the sickness funds keep negotiating and the government keeps going back to the drawing board, with a new 'major health care reform' every few years. So far, the saving grace for France's system has been the high level of efficiency, as exemplified by the 'carte vitale,' that keeps administrative costs low--much lower than in the United States.”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“One reason (though not the main one) is that American health care “providers”—doctors, nurses, hospitals, drug companies—make more money for what they do than their counterparts overseas do.”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“When Americans fill a prescription, the price is routinely twice as much—sometimes ten times as much—as a Briton or a German would pay for precisely the same pills made in the same factory.”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“Von Köckritz’s entire higher education was free. She considers that perfectly normal—and in Europe, it is.”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“The goal in Japan is not to isolate the criminal from society, but precisely the opposite. A convict is sent back to his neighborhood, family, and job so that the social pressure to fit in and the pain of being shamed before the group will lead him to go straight.”
T.R. Reid, Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West
“Some are rich and some are poor. Some are beautiful, some aren’t. Some are brilliant, some aren’t. But when we get sick—then, everybody is equal. Everybody must have equal right to the best medical treatment we can provide.”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“But Nikki White was a citizen of the world’s richest country, the United States of America.”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“The warmth and the soft glow of the tubes also attracted moths, which would fly through ENIAC’s innards and cause short circuits. Ever since, the process of fixing computer problems has been known as debugging.”
T.R. Reid, The Chip : How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution
“has a less than 1-in-20 shot at making it to the top. The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care, or a community that views her future as their own, that should offend all of us and it should compel us to”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“In the Times of London, the Conservative Party parliamentarian Matt Ridley called on his colleagues to “start spreading the good news on inequality.” The good news, he said, is that everybody is getting better off; it just happens at different rates. “Any increase in wealth inequality or pre-tax income inequality in Britain or America is caused by the rich getting disproportionately richer, not by the poor getting poorer.”4”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“It’s one of the finest highway networks in the world—and nobody seems to care that the basic idea was copied from the Nazis.6     EISENHOWER,”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“When I was traveling the world on my quest, I asked the health ministry of each country how many citizens had declared bankruptcy in the past year because of medical bills. Generally, the officials responded to this question with a look of astonishment, as if I had asked how many flying saucers from Mars landed in the ministry’s parking lot last week. How many people go bankrupt because of medical bills? In Britain, zero. In France, zero. In Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland: zero. In the United States, according to a joint study by Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School, the annual figure is around 700,000.3 QUALITY”
T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“The “Tax Complexity Lobby,” as Forbes magazine called it, includes tax-preparation firms like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, as well as companies that make tax-preparation software”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“Internal Revenue Service: “If you determined your tax in the earlier year by using the Schedule D Tax Worksheet, or the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet, and you receive a refund in 2016 of a deduction claimed in that year, you will have to recompute your tax for the earlier year to determine if the recovery must be included in your income.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“seventy-three thousand pages of IRS regulations, he laughed at the very suggestion.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“All the watchmaker needs is a mechanism to count the back-and-forth oscillations—and counting is one of the simple tasks that binary logic gates can perform. In the digital watch a logic gate called a JK flip-flop counts the vibrations of the crystal.”
T.R. Reid, The Chip : How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution
“2012 tax-reform act stipulated that members of the national parliament and the prime minister’s cabinet would pay 5% higher rates than anybody else in the country. “We did it as a gesture of solidarity,” Kažimír said. “The message was, okay, if the parliament is going to raise taxes, we’ll see to it that members of parliament pay more than anybody else. “It’s the same kind of political bullshit you probably have in your Congress,” Kažimír told me.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“Japan has the oldest population in the world, and the Japanese go to the doctor more than anybody—about fourteen office visits per year, compared with five for the average American. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person on health care each year; we burn through $7,400 per person.”
T. R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
“47% problem—that is, the significant number of people who don’t pay income tax.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“A consumption tax like the VAT is paid by everybody, including those who pay no income tax and those who are in the country illegally.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“The crucial point is not how much somebody pays in taxes but rather how much she has left after paying. This biblical lesson has been invoked time and again to justify a tax code that calls on the rich to pay higher rates than the poor.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“Recently, there has been considerable public concern about the fact that 47% of Americans pay no income tax; the presidential candidate Mitt Romney opined that these are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. . . . These are people who pay no income tax.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“A Congress that produces something like Section 7803(c)(2)(B)(ii)(IX) in the name of reducing complexity hardly seems likely to agree on any serious changes that would improve the system.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“BBLR means that if the tax base—that is, the total amount of income, or sales, or property that can be taxed—is kept as large as possible, then the tax rate—that is, the percentage that people have to give to the government—can be kept low. Virtually all economists and tax experts agree that this is the best way to run a tax regime.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“Does the flat tax work?...The flat tax works in a country that is a former Communist state, with no investment capital, and low wage rates, which needs to build a capitalist economy from a base of approximately zero. The flat tax works if people are willing to pay a 20% sales tax on everything they buy to make up for lower revenue. The flat tax works if employers are willing to pay 34%, or more, in Social Security taxes for every employee they hire. The flat tax works in a country where almost everyone has the same amount of wealth so there's no need for the distributive effect of graduated rates. And if all these conditions are met, the flat-rate tax will probably work as long as the economy is on a path of steady growth.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“The American sage Will Rogers captured this concept precisely. Of course people like low taxes, Rogers said, but there’s something even more important: “People want JUST taxes, more than they want lower taxes. They want to know that every man is paying his proportionate share according to his wealth.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“If there’s no deduction for contributions, charities don’t have to produce a certified receipt for each donation, and the contributor doesn’t have to track down the nine-digit Tax ID Number of each charity she wants to support.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
“ALL THOSE ISSUES SHOULD be enough to demonstrate that the deduction for charitable contributions is costly, unfair, and easy to abuse. But there’s actually a more fundamental problem with this particular deduction: It doesn’t work.”
T.R. Reid, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System

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