America’s Bitter Pill
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|Author||: Steven Brill|
|Editor||: Random House|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • “A tour de force . . . a comprehensive and suitably furious guide to the political landscape of American healthcare . . . persuasive, shocking.”—The New York Times America’s Bitter Pill is Steven Brill’s acclaimed book on how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. It’s a fly-on-the-wall account of the titanic fight to pass a 961-page law aimed at fixing America’s largest, most dysfunctional industry. It’s a penetrating chronicle of how the profiteering that Brill first identified in his trailblazing Time magazine cover story continues, despite Obamacare. And it is the first complete, inside account of how President Obama persevered to push through the law, but then failed to deal with the staff incompetence and turf wars that crippled its implementation. But by chance America’s Bitter Pill ends up being much more—because as Brill was completing this book, he had to undergo urgent open-heart surgery. Thus, this also becomes the story of how one patient who thinks he knows everything about healthcare “policy” rethinks it from a hospital gurney—and combines that insight with his brilliant reporting. The result: a surprising new vision of how we can fix American healthcare so that it stops draining the bank accounts of our families and our businesses, and the federal treasury. Praise for America’s Bitter Pill “An energetic, picaresque, narrative explanation of much of what has happened in the last seven years of health policy . . . [Brill] has pulled off something extraordinary.”—The New York Times Book Review “A thunderous indictment of what Brill refers to as the ‘toxicity of our profiteer-dominated healthcare system.’ ”—Los Angeles Times “A sweeping and spirited new book [that] chronicles the surprisingly juicy tale of reform.”—The Daily Beast “One of the most important books of our time.”—Walter Isaacson “Superb . . . Brill has achieved the seemingly impossible—written an exciting book about the American health system.”—The New York Review of Books
|Author||: Steven Brill|
|Editor||: Random House Trade Paperbacks|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER America's Bitter Pill is Steven Brill's much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. Brill probed the depths of our nation's healthcare crisis in his trailblazingTime magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest. Now he broadens his lens and delves deeper, pulling no punches and taking no prisoners. It's a fly-on-the-wall account of the fight, amid an onslaught of lobbying, to pass a 961-page law aimed at fixing America's largest, most dysfunctional industry—an industry larger than the entire economy of France. It's a penetrating chronicle of how the profiteering that Brill first identified in hisTime cover story continues, despite Obamacare. And it is the first complete, inside account of how President Obama persevered to push through the law, but then failed to deal with the staff incompetence and turf wars that crippled its implementation. Brill questions all the participants in the drama, including the president, to find out what happened and why. He asks the head of the agency in charge of the Obamacare website how and why it crashed. And he tells the cliffhanger story of the tech wizards who swooped in to rebuild it. Brill gets drug lobbyists to open up on the deals they struck to protect their profits in return for supporting the law. And he buttresses all these accounts with meticulous research and access to internal memos, emails, notes, and journals written by the key players during all the pivotal moments. Brill is there with patients when they are denied cancer care at a hospital, or charged $77 for a box of gauze pads. Then he asks the multimillion-dollar executives who run the hospitals to explain why. He even confronts the chief executive of America's largest health insurance company and asks him to explain an incomprehensible Explanation of Benefits his company sent to Brill. And he's there as a group of young entrepreneurs gamble millions to use Obamacare to start a hip insurance company in New York's Silicon Alley. Vividly capturing what he calls the “milestone” achievement of Obamacare, Brill introduces us to patients whose bank accounts or lives have been saved by the new law—although, as he explains, that is only because Obamacare provides government subsidies for “tens of millions of new customers” to pay the same exorbitant prices that were the problem in the first place. All that is weaved together in an elegantly crafted, fast-paced narrative. But by chance America's Bitter Pill ends up being much more—because as Brill was completing this book, he had to undergo urgent open-heart surgery. Thus, this also becomes the story of how one patient who thinks he knows everything about healthcare “policy” rethinks it from a hospital gurney—and combines that insight with his brilliant reporting. The result: a surprising new vision of how we can fix American healthcare so that it stops draining the bank accounts of our families and our businesses, and the federal treasury. From the Hardcover edition.
|Author||: Jeanne Lenzer|
|Editor||: Little, Brown|
Did you know... Medical interventions have become the third leading cause of death in America. An estimated 10 percent of Americans are implanted with medical devices -- like pacemakers, artificial hips, cardiac stents, etc. The overwhelming majority of high-risk implanted devices have never undergone a single clinical trial. In The Danger Within Us, award-winning journalist Jeanne Lenzer brings these horrifying statistics to life through the story of one working class man who, after his "cure" nearly kills him, ends up in a battle for justice against the medical establishment. His crusade leads Lenzer on a journey through the dark underbelly of the medical device industry, a fascinating and disturbing world that hasn't been written about before. What Lenzer exposes will shock readers: rampant corruption, elaborate cover-ups, shameless profiteering, and astonishing lack of oversight, all of which leads to dangerous devices (from artificial hips to pacemakers) going to market and into our bodies. In the vein of America's Bitter Pill and A Civil Action, The Danger Within Us is a stirring call for reform and a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of American healthcare. "Before you get anything implanted in your body, read this book."-Shannon Brownlee, author of Overtreated
|Author||: Stephen Fried|
We take our medicines on faith. We assume our doctors are well-informed, our drug companies scrupulous, our FDA diligent—and our medications safe. All too often we're wrong. Just how wrong is documented in this critically acclaimed portrait of the international pharmaceutical industry by one of our most highly respected investigative journalists. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause of death in America. Reactions to prescription and over-the-counter medications kill far more people annually than all illegal drug use combined. Stephen Fried's wife took a pill for a minor infection—and ended up in the emergency room. Some drug reactions go away in a few hours or days. Diane's did not. This emotionally wrenching experience launched Fried into a five-year examination of the entire pharmaceutical industry, the most profitable legal business in the world. Rigorously documented, Bitter Pills is a full-scale portrait of pill making and pill taking in America today, presented through the powerful human drama of doctors, patients, drug companies, the FDA, and government regulators as they war for control of our medicine cabinets.
|Author||: Fern Michaels|
|Editor||: Zebra Books|
No one weaves a story as well as beloved New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels. In the latest in the Sisterhood series, a team of unscrupulous doctors is profiting from others’ distress—but these loyal friends know just the cure . . . For the Sisterhood, there’s a special satisfaction that comes with helping a friend in need, especially when it’s someone as dear as Charlotte Hansen. Myra Rutledge’s childhood friend has spent tens of thousands of dollars on remedies to boost longevity. But far from improving her health, the medications seem to be destroying it. Myra becomes suspicious of the trio of doctors in charge of the program, especially once the Sisterhood’s investigations reveal that one patient has died, and another lapsed into a coma. While those in their care suffer, the three doctors—located in London, Aspen, and New York—all enjoy indulgent lifestyles and extravagant toys. But justice is always the best medicine—and no one dispenses it better than the Sisterhood . . .
|Author||: Paul Starr|
|Editor||: Yale University Press|
In no other country has health care served as such a volatile flashpoint of ideological conflict. America has endured a century of rancorous debate on health insurance, and despite the passage of legislation in 2010, the battle is not yet over. This book is a history of how and why the United States became so stubbornly different in health care, presented by an expert with unsurpassed knowledge of the issues. Tracing health-care reform from its beginnings to its current uncertain prospects, Paul Starr argues that the United States ensnared itself in a trap through policies that satisfied enough of the public and so enriched the health-care industry as to make the system difficult to change. He reveals the inside story of the rise and fall of the Clinton health plan in the early 1990sùand of the Gingrich counterrevolution that followed. And he explains the curious tale of how Mitt RomneyÆs reforms in Massachusetts became a model for Democrats and then follows both the passage of those reforms under Obama and the explosive reaction they elicited from conservatives. Writing concisely and with an even hand, the author offers exactly what is needed as the debate continuesùa penetrating account of how health care became such treacherous terrain in American politics.
|Author||: Paul Starr|
|Editor||: Basic Books|
Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in American History, this is a landmark history of how the entire American health care system of doctors, hospitals, health plans, and government programs has evolved over the last two centuries. "The definitive social history of the medical profession in America....A monumental achievement."—H. Jack Geiger, M.D., New York Times Book Review
|Author||: T. R. Reid|
A best-selling author guides a whirlwind tour of successful health-care systems worldwide, disproving American myths of "socialized medicine" to find possible paths toward reform. Reprint.
|Author||: Peter Rhee|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
The incredible life story of the trauma surgeon who helped save Congresswoman Gabby Giffords—from his upbringing in South Korea and Africa to the gripping dramas he faces in a typical day as a medical genius. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is a household name: most people remember that awful day in Arizona in 2011 when she was a victim of an act of violence that left six dead and thirteen wounded. What many people don’t know is that it was Dr. Peter Rhee who played a vital role in her survival. Born in South Korea, Rhee moved with his family to Uganda where he watched his public health surgeon father remove a spear from a man’s belly—and began his lifelong interest in medicine. What came next is this compelling portrait of how one becomes a world class trauma surgeon: the specialized training, the mindset to make critical decisions, and the practiced ability to operate on the human body. Dr. Rhee is so eminent that when President Clinton traveled to China, he was selected to accompany the president as his personal physician. In Trauma Red we learn how Rhee’s experiences were born from the love and sacrifices of determined parents, and of Rhee’s own quest to become as excellent a surgeon as possible. Trauma Red chronicles the patient cases Dr. Rhee has handled over two decades on two distinct battle fronts: In Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served as a frontline US Navy surgeon trying to save young American soldiers, and the urban zones of Los Angeles and Washington, DC, where he has been confronted by an endless stream of bloody victims of civilian violence and accidents. Tough and outspoken, Dr. Rhee isn’t afraid to take on the politics of violence in America and a medical community that too often resists innovation. His story provides an inside look into a fascinating medical world, a place where lives are saved every day.
|Author||: Elisabeth Rosenthal|
A New York Times bestseller/Washington Post Notable Book of 2017/NPR Best Books of 2017/Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2017 "This book will serve as 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, An American Sickness is a shocking investigation into our dysfunctional healthcare system - and offers practical solutions to its myriad 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.
|Author||: David Goldhill|
A visionary investigation that will change the way we think about health care: how and why it is failing, why expanding coverage will actually make things worse, and how our health care can be transformed into a transparent, affordable, successful system. In 2007, David Goldhill’s father died from infections acquired in a hospital, one of more than two hundred thousand avoidable deaths per year caused by medical error. The bill was enormous—and Medicare paid it. These circumstances left Goldhill angry and determined to understand how world-class technology and personnel could coexist with such carelessness—and how a business that failed so miserably could be paid in full. Catastrophic Care is the eye-opening result. Blending personal anecdotes and extensive research, Goldhill presents us with cogent, biting analysis that challenges the basic preconceptions that have shaped our thinking for decades. Contrasting the Island of health care with the Mainland of our economy, he demonstrates that high costs, excess medicine, terrible service, and medical error are the inevitable consequences of our insurance-based system. He explains why policy efforts to fix these problems have invariably produced perverse results, and how the new Affordable Care Act is more likely to deepen than to solve these issues. Goldhill steps outside the incremental and wonkish debates to question the conventional wisdom blinding us to more fundamental issues. He proposes a comprehensive new way, where the customer (the patient) is first—a system focused on health and maintaining it, a system strong and vibrant enough for our future. If you think health care is interesting only to institutes and politicians, think again: Catastrophic Care is surprising, engaging, and brimming with insights born of questions nobody has thought to ask. Above all it is a book of new ideas that can transform the way we understand a subject we often take for granted.
|Author||: Uwe E. Reinhardt|
|Editor||: Princeton University Press|
"From a giant of health care policy, an engaging and enlightening account of why American health care is so expensive -- and why it doesn't have to be. Uwe Reinhardt was a towering figure and moral conscience of health care policy in the United States and beyond. Famously bipartisan, he advised presidents and Congress on health reform and originated central features of the Affordable Care Act. In Priced Out, Reinhardt offers an engaging and enlightening account of today's U.S. health care system, explaining why it costs so much more and delivers so much less than the systems of every other advanced country, why this situation is morally indefensible, and how we might improve it. The problem, Reinhardt says, is not one of economics but of social ethics. There is no American political consensus on a fundamental question other countries settled long ago: to what extent should we be our brothers' and sisters' keepers when it comes to health care? Drawing on the best evidence, he guides readers through the chaotic, secretive, and inefficient way America finances health care, and he offers a penetrating ethical analysis of recent reform proposals. At this point, he argues, the United States appears to have three stark choices: the government can make the rich help pay for the health care of the poor, ration care by income, or control costs. Reinhardt proposes an alternative path: that by age 26 all Americans must choose either to join an insurance arrangement with community-rated premiums, or take a chance on being uninsured or relying on a health insurance market that charges premiums based on health status. An incisive look at the American health care system, Priced Out dispels the confusion, ignorance, myths, and misinformation that hinder effective reform." --
|Author||: Jonathan Cohn|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Press|
Jonathan Cohn's The Ten Year War is the definitive account of the battle over Obamacare, based on interviews with sources who were in the room, from one of the nation's foremost healthcare journalists. The Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” was the most sweeping and consequential piece of legislation of the last half century. It has touched nearly every American in one way or another, for better or worse, and become the defining political fight of our time. In The Ten Year War, veteran journalist Jonathan Cohn offers the compelling, authoritative history of how the law came to be, why it looks like it does, and what it’s meant for average Americans. Drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews, plus private diaries, emails and memos, The Ten Year War takes readers to Capitol Hill and to town hall meetings, inside the West Wing and, eventually, into Trump Tower, as the nation's most powerful leaders try to reconcile pragmatism and idealism, self-interest and the public good, and ultimately two very different visions for what the country should look like. At the heart of the book is the decades-old argument over what’s wrong with American health care and how to fix it. But the battle over healthcare was always about more than policy. The Ten Year War offers a deeper examination of how our governing institutions, the media and the two parties have evolved, and the dysfunction those changes have left in their wake.
|Author||: Steven Brill|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
In a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over America’s failure to educate its children—and points the way to reversing that failure. IN a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over America’s failure to educate its children—and points the way to reversing that failure. Brill’s vivid narrative—filled with unexpected twists and turns—takes us from the Oval Office, where President Obama signs off on an unprecedented plan that will infuriate the teachers’ unions because it offers billions to states that win an education reform “contest”; to boisterous assemblies, where parents join the fight over their children’s schools; to a Fifth Avenue apartment, where billionaires plan a secret fund to promote school reform; to a Colorado high school, where students who seemed destined to fail are instead propelled to college; to state capitols across the country, where school reformers hoping to win Obama’s “contest” push bills that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. It’s the story of an unlikely army—fed-up public school parents, Ivy League idealists, hedge-funders, civil rights activists, conservative Republicans, insurgent Democrats—squaring off against unions that the reformers claim are protecting a system that works for the adults but victimizes the children. Class Warfare is filled with extraordinary people taking extraordinary paths: a young woman who goes into teaching almost by accident, then becomes so talented and driven that fighting burnout becomes her biggest challenge; an antitrust lawyer who almost brought down Bill Gates’s Microsoft and now forms a partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates to overhaul New York’s schools; a naïve Princeton student who launches an army of school reformers with her senior thesis; a California teachers’ union lobbyist who becomes the mayor of Los Angeles and then the union’s prime antagonist; a stubborn young teacher who, as a child growing up on Park Avenue, had been assumed to be learning disabled but ends up co-founding the nation’s most successful charter schools; and an anguished national union leader who walks a tightrope between compromising enough to save her union and giving in so much that her members will throw her out. Brill not only takes us inside their roller-coaster battles, he also concludes with a surprising prescription for what it will take from both sides to put the American dream back in America’s schools.
|Author||: Thomas H. Lee,James J. Mongan|
|Editor||: MIT Press|
Two leading physicians' prescription for solving our health care problems: organizing the fragmented system that delivers care. One of the most daunting challenges facing the new U.S. administration is health care reform. The size of the system, the number of stakeholders, and ever-rising costs make the problem seem almost intractable. But in Chaos and Organization in Health Care, two leading physicians offer an optimistic prognosis. In their frontline work as providers, Thomas Lee and James Mongan see the inefficiency, the missed opportunities, and the occasional harm that can result from the current system. The root cause of these problems, they argue, is chaos in the delivery of care. If the problem is chaos, the solution is organization, and in this timely and outspoken book, they offer a plan. In many ways, this chaos is caused by something good: the dramatic progress in medical science—the explosion of medical knowledge and the exponential increase in treatment options. Imposed on a fragmented system of small practices and individual patients with multiple providers, progress results in chaos. Lee and Mongan argue that attacking this chaos is even more important than whether health care is managed by government or controlled by market forces. Some providers are already tightly organized, adapting management principles from business and offering care that is by many measures safer, better, and less costly. Lee and Mongan propose multiple strategies that can be adopted nationwide, including electronic medical records and information systems for sharing knowledge; team-based care, with doctors and other providers working together; and disease management programs to coordinate care for the sickest patients.
|Author||: Jonathan Bush,Stephen Baker|
A bold new remedy for the sprawling and wasteful health care industry. Where else but the doctor’s office do you have to fill out a form on a clipboard? Have you noticed that hospital bills are almost unintelligible, except for the absurdly high dollar amount? Why is it that technology in other industries drives prices down, but in health care it’s the reverse? And why, in health care, is the customer so often treated as a mere bystander—and an ignorant one at that? The same American medical establishment that saves lives and performs wondrous miracles is also a $2.7 trillion industry in deep dysfunction. And now, with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), it is called on to extend full benefits to tens of millions of newly insured. You might think that this would leave us with a bleak choice— either to devote more of our national budget to health care or to make do with less of it. But there’s another path. In this provocative book, Jonathan Bush, cofounder and CEO of athenahealth, calls for a revolution in health care to give customers more choices, freedom, power, and information, and at far lower prices. With humor and a tell-it-likeit- is style, he picks up insights and ideas from his days as an ambulance driver in New Orleans, an army medic, and an entrepreneur launching a birthing start-up in San Diego. In struggling to save that dying business, Bush’s team created a software program that eventually became athenahealth, a cloud-based services company that handles electronic medical records, billing, and patient communications for more than fifty thousand medical providers nationwide. Bush calls for disruption of the status quo through new business models, new payment models, and new technologies that give patients more control of their care and enhance the physicianpatient experience. He shows how this is already happening. From birthing centers in Florida to urgent care centers in West Virginia, upstarts are disrupting health care by focusing on efficiency, innovation, and customer service. Bush offers a vision and plan for change while bringing a breakthrough perspective to the debates surrounding Obamacare. You’ll learn how: • Well-intended government regulations prop up overpriced incumbents and slow the pace of innovation. • Focused, profit-driven disrupters are chipping away at the dominance of hospitals by offering routine procedures at lower cost. • Scrappy digital start-ups are equipping providers and patients with new apps and technologies to access medical data and take control of care. • Making informed choices about the care we receive and pay for will enable a more humane and satisfying health care system to emerge. Bush’s plan calls for Americans not only to demand more from providers but also to accept more responsibility for our health, to weigh risks and make hard choices—in short, to take back control of an industry that is central to our lives and our economy.
|Author||: Peter Singer,Abdallah Daar, Dr.|
|Editor||: Anchor Books|
The Grandest Challenge begins with a simple premise: that every person's life is of equal value, regardless of where in the world he or she lives. It also begins with an alarming fact: that in this age of spectacular scientific advances, it is still those who live in the developed world--mainly the west--who overwhelmingly benefit from our enormous new power to combat disease and enhance food, while those in the developing world are far more likely to die for lack of basic health care and inexpensive nutrition. As personalized medicine, designer drugs, and high-quality nutrients become more readily available than ever in the richest parts of the world, distinguished doctors Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer urge us to pause and ask these vital questions: Who will have access to the life-enhancing advances of biotechnology? And who are these advances ultimately meant to help? In this challenging, controversial, thought-provoking, and humane book, Daar and Singer inspire us to look more deeply at our new science, and at the revolution that is already changing all of our lives.
|Author||: Tiffany Gholar|
Devante's life has been changed forever by tragedy, and he can't deal with it. He can't sleep without having nightmares and feels like his life isn't worth living anymore. His parents send him to a special boarding school for kids with emotional problems. There he meets Janina, who makes him feel less alone in the world. But will Devante's terrifying memories and Janina's intense moods come between them? Set at the end of a cold Chicago winter in 1994, 'A Bitter Pill to Swallow' is the story of a boy and girl whose lives intersect in unexpected ways.