Why health care reform alone won't make us any healthier


James Marks may be a doctor, but he's not exactly Dr. Feel-Good. The U.S. health system basically stinks, he says, although he puts it more nicely in his recent post on The Health Care Blog. So don't be fooled when politicians say America's health care is the best in the world, warns Marks, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an independent non-profit focused on improving the nation's health.

Sure, we need health care reform to extend coverage to the uninsured, Marks says. But Marks, a former assistant surgeon general, makes it very clear that regardless of what happens with health care reform, it won't necessarily make us all healthier. After all, no more than 15 percent of preventable mortality is linked to health care, he writes. DailyFinance spoke with Marks about his views on America's health system as well as the recommendations that his foundation believes will actually make things better. Here's an edited excerpt.

Originally published