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Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father--and How We Can Fix It Hardcover – January 8, 2013
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"David Goldhill is a genius observer of a broken system in need of fresh ideas. His testimony and common-sense ideas are devastatingly important in light of out-of-control medical prices. A must-read for doctors, policy-makers and patients alike. Catastrophic Care is a defining book of our era, and a roadmap for fixing our country's leading debt driver. You will never see medical care the same way."
—Marty Makary, MD, best-selling author of Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Healthcare
"For those who are troubled by both the failures of our healthcare system and the misdirected diagnoses and prescriptions offered by pundits, policy experts, and politicians from across the political spectrum, David Goldhill offers a brilliant and much needed antidote. By calling out with remarkable clarity the numerous, but now almost invisible incentives and regulations that drive the dysfunction of our current system, Catastrophic Care provides an illuminating framework for understanding the crisis, and then a path to the kinds of reforms that will surely be necessary."
—Jeffrey S. Flier, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard Medical School
"[A] fascinating and infuriating expose of the American health care system . . . Goldhill persuasively argues that a consumer-driven system – which will require greater vigilance and commitment on the part of citizens in actively managing their health – is the first step toward sustainability and lower individual and government costs. . . . Goldhill's reasoned, logical alternative to the current system goes beyond political finger-pointing, and while his take is sobering, it’s one that offers sound solutions."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[Catastrophic Care] is powerful—edge-of-the-seat riveting—because it is not, in any sense, a policy book. Rather, this is a story about saving ourselves . . . It steps outside of the established political debate and lexicon—one of the rare books addressing a major national policy issue that is able to do so in language not already debased by the problem itself . . . Alas, healthcare civilians can't actually read most books about healthcare (and if you can, then you are part of the problem). But you can read this one."
—Michael Wolff, The Guardian
"Highly readable presentation of one businessman’s solution, likely to provoke discussion if not agreement."
“Rarely has the irrationality of the [healthcare] system been so convincingly demonstrated, including the opaque and highly inflated prices of medical care.”
—Arnold Relman, The New York Review of Books
"Thought provoking . . . A for-profit business executive who actually states that better than adequate health care should be available to all people in the country . . . As an industry outsider—neither a clinician, policymaker, or someone who works for the healthcare industry—Mr. Goldhill observes and explains the issues in an understandable manner for the layperson."
—New York Journal of Books
"The best popular health care book . . . a crystal clear account of what has gone wrong and how to fix it."
—Tyler Cowen, Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics, George Mason University
"[A] comprehensive, thought-provoking, empirical, and well-written book."
—Matthew Continetti, The Weekly Standard
—Wayne Holliday, Decatur Daily
“Goldhill’s perspective is invaluable to the health-care discussion, elevating his personal tragedy into an impressive body of research. Written with both pain and passion, this book provides an informative and relatable treatise.”
—Elizabeth J. Eastwood, Library Journal
"Innovative . . . Goldhill presents a convincing argument in many ways, and this book already has challenged policymakers to examine his proposals.”
—William P. Moran, Charleston (SC)Post and Courier
“David Goldhill isn’t your typical policy expert. He is the chief executive officer of GSN. That’s right, the Game Show Network. What does he know about health care? Quite a bit, it turns out.”
—Chelsea Conaboy, Boston Globe, White Coat Notes
Top Customer Reviews
The divisive health care debate of recent years is centered over WHO should shoulder astronomic medical costs. The issue of taming the exorbitant prices and costs is relegated to the side issue of waste and abuse. David Goldhill takes a new and different approach. He puts aside the standard assumption that health care is somehow exempt from the normal rules of economic activity. He focuses on WHY the costs became so exorbitant in the first place. Goldhill shows persuasively that the costs are the result of the very design of our current medical system, and the only way to bring the costs down to earth is to REPLACE entirely the current economic arrangements of our medicine - both the private insurance system and Medicare/Medicaid.
That's a book of new ideas. These ideas are breakthrough innovative, brilliant, deeply thought through; analysis superb. As with all things new and complex, it requires an effort to understand. If you have any background or interest in economics, even the economics of everyday life, give it more consideration.
David Goldhill is one of the few authors that have experienced this travesty and is educated and intelligent enough to understand the consequences of this nationwide epidemic and the needless, wasteful, and dangerous care. His ability to sort through all of the "noise" prevalent in the governmental and media diatribe and isolate the real problem as full insurance for everyone is unique. This system is doomed for failure. There will never be enough resources to fund medical care as long as the consumer is not the payer. They will always demand more and the providers are happy to accomodate them.
I have left the US and am presently living in Beijing, China, attempting to establish purely preventive heartcare clinics. This is more general education regarding diet, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and alcohol abuse. than traditional western medicine. Less income, but certainly more satisfying.
This book is an excellent primer and should be required reading for all those in the legislature who make health care decisions. I have no idea if the prescription offered in the book as an alternative is a reasonable one, but I do know it opened up my eyes to some of the devastating problems with the status quo.
David Goldhill believes that assumption is in fact the root cause of the problems in health care. A businessman in the entertainment industry, he was blissfully unaware of some of the failings of our health care system--until he encountered them full force with his father's hospitalization and death from infection. He wondered why the healthcare system played by an entirely different set of rules than he did in the business world.He studied the problem for a few years, and this book is the result.
He makes a strong case that surrogates drive costs up and quality down, and our health care system is on a crash-course to devastate our economy. He says that we as Americans cherish the myth that we don't really pay for our own health care, our health plan or Medicare does. That myth, says Goldhill, is the core of the problem in our health care system, and the seed of the solution.
Goldhill's perspective and his proposed solutions are unorthodox and will likely generate some controversy. But given the serious problems in our health care system, this incisive book is critical and a must-read for policymakers on both sides of the aisle.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
By profession, I think and talk about health care quite a bit. Sure, it's insanely expensive; sure, it's dangerous; sure, it's appallingly inaccessible, even to people with money... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ash
This book should be required reading for anyone who's ever wondered, "well, what exactly is so bad about our healthcare system? Read morePublished 26 days ago by barrosd12
Absolutely my favorite healthcare book I've ever read (and I've read dozens). Never has such a seemingly boring topic been so riveting and thought-provoking. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Adam Schaefer
Clear, backed by great research. Some of the comments will make you say, Duh!" But now it's time to help David implement these necessary changes. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Larry Aldrich
Incredible book! best breakdown of how paying for medical care through insurance has destroyed our healthcare system and threatens our economy. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. Savage
for those interested in the health care system, and the current structures responsible for both the unsustainable expense and the deteriorating health in our nation, there is no... Read morePublished 9 months ago by alex lubarsky
Lots of good information. A common sense study of a massive problem.Published 10 months ago by Chris Kalmbach
I would give it 6 stars if I could! I have bought 6 extra copies to give to friends, and plan to buy more. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Marizel