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Paperback Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--And Bad Medicine Book

ISBN: 0767910753

ISBN13: 9780767910750

Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--And Bad Medicine

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Book Overview

Award-winning journalists expose the horrific practices within America's health care system, profiling patients and doctors and offering startling personal stories to illuminate what's gone wrong. "Every American ought to read this book."--The Plain Dealer Tens of millions of people with inadequate or no medical coverage . . . dirty examination and operating rooms in doctors' offices and hospitals . . . more people killed by mistakes than by many...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent book

I watched Sicko and loved it. I hated the reality it showed. The problem is I didn't want to jump on his bandwagon until I did some more reading on my own. On some website, someone wrote that they highly recommend this book. I borrowed it from the library. This takes Sicko and multiplies its intensity by 10. It's too bad the authors couldn't get the power of visuals and sound that movies, like Moore's enjoys. Otherwise this book would HAMMER this country so hard, it would tremble. If you liked Sicko, but want more, READ THIS BOOK! If you hated Sicko, READ THIS BOOK, to get a dose of reality. Anti-moore fans can't say much after reading this book because Moore has nothing to do with this. While I would have liked some graphs/charts or some another illustrative, visual way to reinforce the facts, this book is GREAT! Please read it!

Medical Bills Are An Uncontrollable Expense

Over 40,000,000 Americans have no health insurance and many more millions are underinsured. Health Care in America has become big business with a primary focus of making a big profit. The free market is great for America, but is does not work for health care. The reason the free market does not work for health care is that the health care consumer in many cases is not making a real choice. The consumer that is rushed to the hospital has little or no free market choice. In any critical situation the person needing health care does not have free choice when facing life or death or any other critical situation. There is a big difference between health care and other goods and services where a consumer has a real choice. The market system does not work for health care. Our system is not about health care, but it is about the insurance reimbursement system. The USA health care system is a huge bureaucracy where billions of dollars are spent on the huge bureaucracy that has nothing to do with basic preventative and life-savings care. The leading cause of death in the USA is heart disease and has been so for decades. The second leading cause is cancer and has been so for decades. The third leading cause of death in the USA is new. It is shocking to now learn from this book that the third leading cause of death is now medical mistakes including drug interactions and bad drugs. For those that are interested there is an author event for this book available on C-Span2 Book TV.

Terminal condition?

It's good that someone can protest the current health care hell, since the forty-five million with no voice or medical insurance are never heard. This depiction of the deteriorating scenario of free-market capitalism applied to the distribution of medical services is pretty shocking, something we already know or sense but put from our minds--the plight of those suffering maximu neglect as they finally reach the emergency, and many other horrors in the lottery of this immense swindle worthy of a banana republic. Almost pitiful is the picture of the way those with the least resources are often stuck with massive hospital bills, far greater than the norm for providers. That's unbelievable, as if the way the regime has made it seem normal. Now what do we do about it?

Riviting Expose Of the State Of American Health Care

Investigative reporters and the only journalists in history to be awarded two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele have presented a riveting exposé of the critical state of the health system in the United States with their book Critical Condition: How Health Care In America Became Big Business-And Bad Medicine. Beginning with the assertion that American health care has been transposed from one of compassion to a system motivated by profit- the authors present a distressing analysis as to what went wrong. Where forty-four million citizens do not have health insurance, and tens of millions more are underinsured. And yet there seems to be this enduring myth propagated by many that the USA has a "world- class health system." As mentioned by the authors, the USA spends more on health care than any other nation, when you compare it to Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and Canada. However, in these countries citizens do not think twice about seeking care if they are ill. They do not worry who will foot the bills. In the USA, it has become a lottery. If you are fortunate to be employed by a large company providing generous health benefits, you win. On the other hand, if you are self-employed or work for a small enterprise providing little or no coverage, you lose. You may even go bankrupt and lose your home in order to pay your medical bills. Relying on interviews, studies from various organizations as the World Health Organization, the US department of Health and Human Services, legal suits, brokerage reports, congressional hearings, newspaper articles, magazine stories, SEC filings, professional journals, and a resevoir of many other sources (all of which are mentioned in the Notes section at the back of the book), the authors deliver legitimate arguments illustrating how an assortment of factors have crawled into the system with calamitous effects. Broken down into six chapters, Barlett and Steele judiciously examine some of these elements as: rampant overcharging of patients who do not have insurance, dissuading people from purchasing drugs from Canada with false information concerning the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, caving into the demands of special interest groups, the non-existence of independent monitoring of diagnostic test results and hospital mistakes, permitting politicians and business people to assume key roles to the detriment of the welfare of the citizens, a culture of cronyism giving rise to blatant fraud in many instances, doctors having to deal with conditions apt to be found in undeveloped countries, peopled shuffled around by individuals who do not have the foggiest notion as to how to deal with them. In addition, we are informed of how private enterprises connected with Wall Street financiers and Madison Avenue advertising firms have been permitted to join in as if health care was analogous to the selling of cars or MacDonald's franchises. As the authors rightfully ask: "

Please read this book!

It's funny that in this political season there is not much attention being paid to this book. Because this is exactly what the candidates should be paying attention to. As a life long conservative I could never have imagined rating this book highly, but it speaks the truth. The authors discuss the present day health care system, and where the present "market driven" emphasis has brought us as a nation. And truthfully, as we all know, it's not good. The authors lay out simple facts that we all know, but for some reason, strike us as incredible. For example, why is it that in the richest and most powerful nation that the world has ever known, is it necessary for parents to have to hold fundraisers and garage sales to finance the medical treatments that their children need to survive. We have all seen it, but have we ever actually thought about it? That's what this book does. It makes us look at what has become ordinary in this country, and ask why? What good is it to be the richest and most powerful country on Earth, if we can't take care of our children or our parents without having to go into bankruptcy, or holding a bake sale to finance necessary medical care. This is an eyeopening book about the sad state of our health care system. Plaese read this book and think about it. What makes a country great? Is it the flag, or the military? Or is it the way a country takes care of its people? Or the way the people take care of each other. It's funny, but I always would spout out the rethoric that we had the best health care on earth, but this book made me think. Do we? And I think we all know the answer; no. And why don't we? We should, shouldn't we?
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