Daily Archives: August 15, 2017

** An American Sickness by Elizabeth Rosenthal

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back is a horror show, heavy of the description and analysis of the horror and very light on the solutions. The horror is the US health care system, so incredibly expensive compared to other developed countries and yet yielding such poor results at the population level. The author, a physician turned journalist, cogently describes an industry that is treated as any others but does not obey the normal laws of markets as insurance companies, hospitals, physicians, and the pharmaceutical industry all conspire to increase their profits. I was underwhelmed by the list of “solutions”, which are heavy on patients asking for cost estimates ahead of time and shopping more wisely. Presumably she, with her physician’s background, can both determine which hospitals and physicians to choose and also get an answer to the cost question. Ordinary patients, most probably, cannot.


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