December 10th, 2013
11:33 PM ET

What I'm reading: India's health care lessons

By Fareed Zakaria

“Writing in the Harvard Business Review and the Washington Post, two U.S. business professors, Vijay Govindarajan from Dartmouth and Ravi Ramammurti from Northeastern University tell the story of how Indian hospitals deliver better care for much less,” writes John Mandrola in The Atlantic.

“The two professors uncovered nine private hospitals in India that provide quality care at a fraction of U.S. prices. For example, cardiac surgery there costs $3,200, which is 5 to 10 percent of the cost in the United States. Outcomes are comparable and the hospitals make a profit. ‘Narayana Health, for instance, reports that the 30-day post-surgery mortality rate for coronary artery bypass procedures at its Bangalore hospital is below the average rate recorded by a sample of 143 hospitals in Texas,’ they write.

“More striking than the ends, though, were the means. Three major innovations lie at the heart of the Indian hospitals' success.”


“Talking to Islamist rebel groups has become a pragmatic necessity for the Obama administration, which is caught between its desire to promote groups that share American values and the realization that any peace deal must be supported by rebel groups that have influence on the ground inside Syria,” argues Josh Rogin in the Daily Beast.

“Also, the rise of extremist groups inside Syria – especially the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) – along with gains by the regime and its extremist allies, has forced Western leaders to confront the reality that the non-democratic but non-extremist Islamic groups are needed to make sure terrorists don’t wholly take over the Syrian revolution.”


“My hat is off to those 15-year-olds and Jiaoda [PISA] contestants in Shanghai. But this isn’t the direction the U.S. should take,” writes Norman Matloff for Bloomberg. “Yes, we need to bring up the proficiency of our weakest students – a social challenge that goes far deeper than the harrumphing about ‘fixing our schools’ would indicate. Yet we shouldn’t bring down the level of the stronger students just to win international contests.”

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I agree with Norman Matloff to the extent that strong USA stdents should not suffer because of pupils who will not work to learn.
    Failing school pupils should not be denied their freedom to fail. The USA was established to gain freedom.
    Leave failing pupils behind, and allow the students who work to succeed.
    "No child left behind" was a clever political slogan, but that concept is destructive to education and to our nation.

    December 11, 2013 at 4:14 am |
  2. @lloydcata

    This #Medical analysis is no different than the #Education reports(!) When does #USA "WAKE UP" to #Reality, and #Withdraw from #Exceptional #Ignorance(?)

    December 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  3. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $600,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easily fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $113,700 level. Now I only pay 1.2% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    December 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  4. j. von hettlingen

    Indeed, the rise of the Islamists in Syria is alarming. What is more disturbing is that they – instead of toppling Assad – fight the moderate fighters of the Syrian Military Council and the Free Syrian Army.
    We are in a dilemma, as we want to help the good guys without – indirectly – help those bad ones. Assad can now gloat over our "misjudgement", saying he has been doing the right thing all the time – fighting the "terrorists", a term he uses for the opposition.

    December 13, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  5. gohealthin

    Failing school pupils should not be denied their freedom to fail. The USA was established to gain freedom.
    Leave failing pupils behind, and allow the students who work to succeed. by

    January 20, 2014 at 4:53 am |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.