America s Bitter Pill

America s Bitter Pill
Author: Steven Brill
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780812986686
Available:
Release: 2015
Editor: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

America s Bitter Pill

America s Bitter Pill
Author: Steven Brill
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780812996968
Available:
Release: 2015-01-05
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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

Tailspin

Tailspin
Author: Steven Brill
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780525432012
Available:
Release: 2019-04-02
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An "account of the origins of the deeply divided status quo and the people fighting for a more equal, less myopic America"--

The Danger Within Us

The Danger Within Us
Author: Jeanne Lenzer
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780316343787
Available:
Release: 2017-12-12
Editor: Little, Brown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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

Bitter Pills

Bitter Pills
Author: Stephen Fried
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780307785480
Available:
Release: 2011-04-27
Editor: Bantam
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Bitter Pill

Bitter Pill
Author: Fern Michaels
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781420152098
Available:
Release: 2020-12-29
Editor: Zebra Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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 . . .

Deadly Spin

Deadly Spin
Author: Wendell Potter
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781608193509
Available:
Release: 2010-11-09
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

That's how Wendell Potter introduced himself to a Senate committee in June 2009. He proceed to explain how insurance companies make promises they have no intention of keeping, how they flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and how they make it nearly impossible to understand information that the public needs. Potter quit his high-paid job as head of public relations at a major insurance corporation because he could no longer abide the routine practices of the insurance industry, policies that amounted to a death sentence for thousands of Americans every year. In Deadly Spin, Potter takes readers behind the scenes of the insurance industry to show how a huge chunk of our absurd healthcare expenditures actually bankrolls a propaganda campaign and lobbying effort focused on protecting one thing: profits. With the unique vantage of both a whistleblower and a high-powered former insider, Potter moves beyond the healthcare crisis to show how public relations works, and how it has come to play a massive, often insidious role in our political process-and our lives. This important and timely book tells Potter's remarkable personal story, but its larger goal is to explain how people like Potter, before his change of heart, can get the public to think and act in ways that benefit big corporations-and the Wall Street money managers who own them.

Unaccountable

Unaccountable
Author: Marty Makary
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781608198399
Available:
Release: 2012-09-18
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

New York Times Bestseller “Every once in a while a book comes along that rocks the foundations of an established order that's seriously in need of being shaken. The modern American hospital is that establishment and Unaccountable is that book.”-Shannon Brownlee, author of Overtreated Dr. Marty Makary is co-developer of the life-saving checklist outlined in Atul Gawande's bestselling The Checklist Manifesto. As a busy surgeon who has worked in many of the best hospitals in the nation, he can testify to the amazing power of modern medicine to cure. But he's also been a witness to a medical culture that routinely leaves surgical sponges inside patients, amputates the wrong limbs, and overdoses children because of sloppy handwriting. Over the last ten years, neither error rates nor costs have come down, despite scientific progress and efforts to curb expenses. Why? To patients, the healthcare system is a black box. Doctors and hospitals are unaccountable, and the lack of transparency leaves both bad doctors and systemic flaws unchecked. Patients need to know more of what healthcare workers know, so they can make informed choices. Accountability in healthcare would expose dangerous doctors, reward good performance, and force positive change nationally, using the power of the free market. Unaccountable is a powerful, no-nonsense, non-partisan diagnosis for healing our hospitals and reforming our broken healthcare system.

Reinventing American Health Care

Reinventing American Health Care
Author: Ezekiel J. Emanuel
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781610393461
Available:
Release: 2014-03-04
Editor: PublicAffairs
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The definitive story of American health care today—its causes, consequences, and confusions In March 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It was the most extensive reform of America's health care system since at least the creation of Medicare in 1965, and maybe ever. The ACA was controversial and highly political, and the law faced legal challenges reaching all the way to the Supreme Court; it even precipitated a government shutdown. It was a signature piece of legislation for President Obama's first term, and also a ball and chain for his second. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania who also served as a special adviser to the White House on health care reform, has written a brilliant diagnostic explanation of why health care in America has become such a divisive social issue, how money and medicine have their own—quite distinct—American story, and why reform has bedeviled presidents of the left and right for more than one hundred years. Emanuel also explains exactly how the ACA reforms are reshaping the health care system now. He forecasts the future, identifying six mega trends in health that will determine the market for health care to 2020 and beyond. His predictions are bold, provocative, and uniquely well-informed. Health care—one of America's largest employment sectors, with an economy the size of the GDP of France—has never had a more comprehensive or authoritative interpreter.

The Price We Pay

The Price We Pay
Author: Marty Makary
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781635574128
Available:
Release: 2019-09-10
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

New York Times bestseller Business Book of the Year--Association of Business Journalists From the New York Times bestselling author comes an eye-opening, urgent look at America's broken health care system--and the people who are saving it--now with a new Afterword by the author. "A must-read for every American." --Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief, FORBES One in five Americans now has medical debt in collections and rising health care costs today threaten every small business in America. Dr. Makary, one of the nation's leading health care experts, travels across America and details why health care has become a bubble. Drawing from on-the-ground stories, his research, and his own experience, The Price We Pay paints a vivid picture of the business of medicine and its elusive money games in need of a serious shake-up. Dr. Makary shows how so much of health care spending goes to things that have nothing to do with health and what you can do about it. Dr. Makary challenges the medical establishment to remember medicine's noble heritage of caring for people when they are vulnerable. The Price We Pay offers a road map for everyday Americans and business leaders to get a better deal on their health care, and profiles the disruptors who are innovating medical care. The movement to restore medicine to its mission, Makary argues, is alive and well--a mission that can rebuild the public trust and save our country from the crushing cost of health care.

An American Sickness

An American Sickness
Author: Elisabeth Rosenthal
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780698407183
Available:
Release: 2017-04-11
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Where Does It Hurt

Where Does It Hurt
Author: Jonathan Bush,Stephen Baker
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780698135659
Available:
Release: 2014-05-15
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Healing of America

The Healing of America
Author: T. R. Reid
Pages: 290
ISBN: 9780143118213
Available:
Release: 2010
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Teamsters

The Teamsters
Author: Steven Brill
Pages: 329
ISBN:
Available:
Release: 1978
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Priced Out

Priced Out
Author: Uwe E. Reinhardt
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9780691208534
Available:
Release: 2020-09
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"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." --

The Ten Year War

The Ten Year War
Author: Jonathan Cohn
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781250270948
Available:
Release: 2021-02-23
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management Second Edition

Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management  Second Edition
Author: Susan Riddick-Grisham,Laura Deming
Pages: 1051
ISBN: 9781439803585
Available:
Release: 2011-04-26
Editor: CRC Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management provides a comprehensive and unique reference that goes beyond the clinical discussion to include legal and financial aspects, life expectancy data, and assistive technology. It also includes case samples of actual plans related to specific conditions. The book is divided into five parts: Normal Growth and Development of Children describes the normal growth and development and the cognitive and psychosocial development of children. The Roles of the Life Care Plan Team details the roles of members of a life care plan team, from the pediatric care manager and life care planner to the vocational rehabilitation consultant, among others. Chronic Conditions and Disability States offers guidelines for life care planning for children with a wide range of chronic health conditions and disabilities, including traumatic injuries and organ transplants. Forensic Considerations examines life care planning in legal cases, life expectancy issues, and life care plan foundation strategies and requirements. Special Issues discusses assistive technology, medical homes, funding sources, and ethical issues in caring for children with special needs—including a mother’s perspective on caring for her son. With contributions from highly respected professionals, this text provides a guide for life care planners, health-care professionals, education specialists, insurance decision makers, attorneys, and families who work with children with special health-care needs.

A Bitter Pill to Swallow Devante Edition Hardcover

A Bitter Pill to Swallow  Devante Edition   Hardcover
Author: Tiffany Gholar
Pages: 329
ISBN: 1364450291
Available:
Release: 2016-01-24
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

Mexicans in the Making of America

Mexicans in the Making of America
Author: Neil Foley
Pages: 344
ISBN: 9780674048485
Available:
Release: 2014-10-06
Editor: Harvard University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

America has always been a composite of racially blended peoples, never a purely white Anglo-Protestant nation. The Mexican American historian Neil Foley offers a sweeping view of the evolution of Mexican America, from a colonial outpost on Mexico’s northern frontier to a twenty-first-century people integral to the nation they have helped build.

Medicare Meltdown

Medicare Meltdown
Author: Rosemary Gibson,Janardan Prasad Singh
Pages: 152
ISBN: 9781442219809
Available:
Release: 2013-04-16
Editor: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Medicare affects everyone. If you are a boomer, you are counting on Medicare to protect you from the cost of health care when you retire. If you have turned 65, you already depend on Medicare. If you are a Gen-X or Gen-Y, you are contributing to Medicare from your paycheck. Will Medicare continue to exist as we have known it? Will it be there when you need it? How much will it cost? As the future of Medicare is debated in Washington, Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh shine a light on a rarely-seen side of this storied program: the business of Medicare. Medicare is known as an entitlement for the nation’s seniors. It is also the largest entitlement-based program for any business sector in the US economy. Its beneficiaries include hospitals, doctors, drug companies, device manufacturers, Wall Street investment banks, private equity firms, hedge funds, and others that rely on the $600 billion that Medicare spends a year. The ties that bind Wall Street and Washington in the healthcare industry are strong, and they will play an outsized role in determining Medicare’s future. Gibson and Singh reveal how the industry’s interests are often at odds with those of seniors and boomers. While some politicians point to the culture of dependence of the public on Medicare, the authors suggest that policymakers turn their attention to the culture of dependence of the healthcare industry on Medicare, which is the predominant force pushing the program toward a fiscal cliff. The amount of waste in the Medicare program is equivalent to the entire economy of New Zealand. For Medicare to be sustained, this culture of dependence -- and the habits it breeds, namely waste, excessive pricing, and overuse of unnecessary services -- should be the first priority for the chopping block. By parings back the excess, the authors argue, Medicare can be sustained for future generations. This is essential reading for anyone interested in how Medicare works, how it could work better, and where it will go if reforms are not made.