An American Sickness

An American Sickness

How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

eBook - 2017
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"An award-winning New York Times reporter Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal reveals the dangerous, expensive, and dysfunctional American healthcare system, and tells us exactly what we can do to solve its myriad of problems. It is well documented that our healthcare system has grave problems, but how, in only a matter of decades, did things get this bad? Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms; she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. Rosenthal spells out in clear and practical terms exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship, explaining step by step the workings of a profession sorely lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate a byzantine system and also to demand far-reaching reform. Breaking down the monolithic business into its individual industries--the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, drug manufacturers--that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal tells the story of the history of American medicine as never before. The situation is far worse than we think, and it has become like that much more recently than we realize. Hospitals, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Americans are dying from routine medical conditions when affordable and straightforward solutions exist. Dr. Rosenthal explains for the first time how various social and financial incentives have encouraged a disastrous and immoral system to spring uporganicallyin a shockingly short span of time. The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. An American Sicknessis the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2017
ISBN: 9780698407183
0698407180
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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r
rkwpnw
Sep 05, 2017

Being employed in the healthcare industry a lot of the diagnoses were not surprises; but Rosenthal takes a nice concise analysis of the history and current condition of the malaise. In some areas her reflection and analysis is a little light (excessive use of technology for example).
But overall this is a must read for any patient consumer and a wake up call for a single-payer system.

r
roystreet
Jul 23, 2017

This is not an easy book to read without losing your equanimity.

I already suspected that much of America's health care industry (sic!) no longer had patients' welfare as its primary goal, but this book makes clear that it's much worse: it's *%#& out of control!

As in a kind of "Little Shop of Health Care Horrors," Rosenthal leads us through instance after instance, segment after segment, where Congress has passed well-intentioned reforms and regulations, only to have them backfire and be exploited by providers to draw ever more money out of our pocketbooks - for no good reason except that they can.

The author offers ways for patients to to mitigate the unscrupulous onslaught of greed, but it's dazzlingly clear that much, much more needs to be done.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to reforming health care is that the providers don't see themselves as part of the problem. In a brief passage toward the back of the book, Rosenthal observes that each segment of health care - nurses, pharmaceuticals, device-makers, etc., - sees only its own corner and thinks that it is only getting its "fair share." They don't see the
big picture. With the help of this book, we can start to change that.

s
StarGladiator
Jul 10, 2017

[Update: Outstanding article in Washington Examiner on July 10, 2017, covering the ACA's undercutting of physician-owned hospitals by Kimberley {I'll get back with her last name}, which allows for more privatization, commercialization of healthcare sector, while further destroying any competiton.]
More carefully crafted // don't look here, look over there \\ stuff from a NY Times type, the NY Times faithfully misreporting the news since its inception.
The ACA undermined? Did she even bother reading that legislation? It was structured as a wealth transfer from the middle-class/working class to the poorest, i.e., doomed for failure while further hollowing out the middle-class [dare this doc to explain to us the present size of the dwindling middle class in America?????]. Recently heard a neocon, believe he's now local in Seattle, a transplant from NY, Michael Medved, who claimed that the healthcare insurance companies were // forced \\ to raise their prices due to the ACA - - another completely false claim! The companies were and are recompensed by the government for lower prices to the poorest and those with pre-existing conditions which may incur profit loss - - they submit payment bills to the government, et cetera! You'll never hear this mentioned in any facet of Fake News!!!
The ACA was a bad bill, although great for hurting biopharmaceuticals and health insurance companies due to lower employment levels thanks to mass offshoring of jobs [it ain't rocket science: most Americans come by their health insurance at work, less jobs, less insurance policies written!!!!]. But, of course, the republiCONS will always offer something even worse . . .
And why don't these authors, claiming to always enlighten us, ever mention the chief cost drivers in America's disastrous [but profit-making to the super-rich] healthcare/insurance complex: (1) private equity leveraged buyouts across the healthcare sector; and (2) hedge fund massive speculation across the healthcare sector? [Love that perverted NY Times review: the market will solve the problem - - the bloody market is THE PROBLEM!!!]

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