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Book and Media Reviews
November 5, 2008

Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis and the People Who Pay the Price

JAMA. 2008;300(17):2066-2067. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.544

For me—a physician living in a country where there is general consensus that health care is a right and not a privilege—reading a book about the distinct situation in the United States has been quite instructive. The greatest accomplishment of the Spanish health care system, unlike that of the United States, has been the universalization of coverage with the expansion of health benefits to almost the entire population, helping to reduce health inequalities. In Spain, patients receive free care at any public institution or approved private hospital, and the public sector accounts for more than two-thirds of the total hospital beds in the country.