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An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back
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An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back


A New York Times bestseller
"The definitive guide to the past and future of health care in America."
--Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene
At a moment of drastic political upheaval, a shocking investigation into the dangerous, expensive, and dysfunctional American healthcare system, as well as solutions to its myriad of problems

In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast?
Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries--the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers--that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. How did healthcare, the caring endeavor, become healthcare, the highly profitable industry? Hospital systems, 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. Patients receive bills in code, from entrepreneurial doctors they never even saw.
The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms, she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. In clear and practical terms, she spells out 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 and to hospital C-suites, explaining step-by-step the workings of a system badly lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate the maze that is American healthcare and also to demand far-reaching reform. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.

Title:An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:615 pages
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    An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back Reviews

  • Zack
    Apr 11, 2017

    really good write up on an overly complex system. This book is really well sourced and approachable. A lot of the content would be funny if it weren't so tragic...

  • Marks54
    May 05, 2017

    This is an outstanding book that should be read by anyone interested in healthcare and current US healthcare debates. The book is not about Democrats versus Republicans or about Obamacare and various ...

  • Kristin Butler
    May 05, 2017

    Doctors, Hospital employees, medical device reps, Health insurance agents anyone in Pharma should read this book. Anyone who touches medical care in any way should read this book. Anyone interested in...

  • David Marshall
    May 06, 2017

    My 80s-something mother-in-law gave me this book, because she wants her children to have the best tools available to navigate the dysfunctional American health care system. It's a excellent read, diag...

  • Steve Nolan
    May 06, 2017

    Pretty comprehensive overview of the American healthcare system. Some crazy anecdotes of people getting screwed and crazy prices for ridiculous things. Does a great job showing that it really isn't on...

  • Serge
    May 09, 2017

    There's a lot of well deserved criticism of insurance industry, however as the author reveals in this book they're not the only bad actors in healthcare: hospitals, doctors, drug and medical device ma...

  • Richard Nelson
    May 25, 2017

    Untangling the Byzantine nightmare that is the American health care system is no small feat; proposing solutions is even harder. Elizabeth Rosenthal gives it a good go, though, using the traditional d...

  • Nate Heimann
    May 18, 2017

    Fascinating. A must read if you want to understand how we as a nation got to the point of absurdly high cost of medical treatment. And if you want to have an idea of how to reverse them....

  • Gerald Hilton
    May 05, 2017

    I thought I knew quite a bit about the healthcare system, because of having some chronic health issues. However, I quickly learned that my experiences were either to narrow in scope, or too old to rea...

  • DW
    May 20, 2017

    Picked it up at the library because I had heard part of an interview with the author and thought she made sense. I had known about some things this book talks about, like over-testing and CPT billing ...