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Uwe Reinhardt was one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard, partly--perhaps mainly--because he was so funny. I can’t recapture his humour, but I can remember him saying that the way the US healthcare system was expanding soon everybody would either be working in a hospital or a patient in one.
He predicted that eventually all health systems would be the same: fee-for-service, whatever-you-want for the very rich; a managed-care system funded from insurance for the middle classes; and a rump service for the poor paid for by the state. Much of the world has such a system now, but British health economists insist that it won’t happen here. But it could.
One of my best memories of Uwe is sitting next to him at dinner with my 8-year-old daughter also at the table. He entertained her throughout the meal, making models from napkins, and telling her stories and jokes. I reserve my greatest respect for those who are good with children and animals: they know who is good and who isn’t.