Critical Condition

Critical Condition

How Health Care in America Became Big Business--and Bad Medicine

Book - 2004
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Exposing the most controversial, little-known practices of America's most flawed system,Timemagazine's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team pulls back the curtain on the health care industry to explain exactly how things grew so out of control. Dirty examination and operating rooms in doctor's offices and hospitals . . . Health care executives pulling in millions in bonuses for denying treatment to the sick . . . More than 100 million people with inadequate or no medical coverage . . . This may sound like the predicament of a third-world nation, but this is America's health care reality today. The U.S. spends more on health care thanany other nation, yet our benefits are shrinking and life expectancy is shorter here than in countries that spend significantly less per capita. Meanwhile, HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, and hospital chains reap tremendous profits, while politicians--beholden to insurers and drug companies--enact legislation for the benefit of the few rather than the many, while the entire system is on the verge of collapse. In CRITICAL CONDITION, award-winning investigative journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele expose the horror of what health care in America has become. They profile patients and doctors trapped by the system and offer startling personal stories that illuminate what's gone wrong. Doctors tell of being second-guessed and undermined by health care insurers; nurses recount chilling tales of hospital meltdowns; patients explain how they've been victimized by a system that is meant to care for them. Drug companies profit by selling pills in the same manner that Madison Avenue sells soap, while Wall Street rakes in billions by building up and then tearing down health care businesses. And politicians pass legislation perpetuating the injustices and out-right fraud the system encourages. By analyzing the industry and offering an insightful prescription for getting it back on the right track, CRITICAL CONDITION is an enormously compelling investigative work that addresses the concerns of every American.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385504546
Branch Call Number: 362.1 Barlett
Characteristics: vi, 279 p. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Steele, James B.


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Oct 17, 2014

Want a good overview of healthcare in America to help understand why national healthcare is needed? Published in 2004, yet even more relevant in 2014.

Jul 25, 2014

Ultimately this book was difficult to read because it smelled strongly - of mold? Perhaps someone w/ fewer allergies would get more out of it

Jan 06, 2014

This is a far superior book to "American Healthcare Paradox" by so-called researcher/scholars who appear to be following a different agenda than these investigative jounralists! Although they got all the details right, the macro financial picture is a bit beyond them (not intended as criticism of their book, merely elucidation of the subject) - - the Wall Street cost drivers are the two top cost drivers because the American system is private sector: (1) hedge fund super-speculation the last decade or so, across the entire healthcare sector; and, (2) private equity/leveraged buyouts (led by David Rockefeller's protege, Peter G. Peterson and his Blackstone Group) across the healthcare sector. Otherwise, the authors present us with the facts, something we all can use! (Essentially, the Affordable Care Act is simply the bank bailout, version 2, as the private health insurance companies, and major pharmaceuticals, are owned by the banks - - they promoted the offshoring of America, and now the health insurance business is hurting as there are fewer employees to be covered at American corporations.)


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