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Mahar, a financial journalist whose previous book (Bull!) tracked the history of the stock market from 1982 to 1999, here applies her keen analytic talents and economic savvy to America's complicated and increasingly dysfunctional health-care system. Mahar's diagnosis: our privately managed yet mainly publicly funded system produces the worst of both worlds—high costs, rampant inefficiencies and intense competition among providers that doesn't benefit patients. She traces how today's market-driven medical system emerged over the past century thanks to trends that gradually stripped power from doctors and gave it to corporations, turning patients into profit centers. No one is spared in Mahar's thoroughly researched and carefully reasoned study: she criticizes frustrated (and increasingly money-minded) physicians, self-serving insurance companies, for-profit hospital chains and pharmaceutical companies driven by inflated Wall Street expectations. Mahar uncovers isolated pockets of good news, including the VA hospital system, which provides excellent care at modest cost thanks largely to its exemption from the pressures of competition. But her goal is not to offer any programmatic solution. Instead, she wants to show why the most common economic assumptions about health care—especially those that extol the magic power of free markets—are false and stand in the way of real reform. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
As Americans, we pride ourselves on having the best of everything, but when it comes to health care, compared to other industrialized nations, we pay more for the same services; receive more complex, unnecessary procedures; and leave the most neediest of our population uncared for. That's because a profit-driven health-care system tends to do what's best for shareholders rather than what is in the best interest of the patient. Mahar does an excellent job of explaining how we went from the individual family doctor who made house calls to the bureaucratic, faceless, broken system we have today. As far back as 1970, it was recognized that health care in this country was wasteful and inefficient, so much so that President Nixon actually sided with the Left and proposed a national health-care system in 1974 (it was derailed by Watergate). Whether the fault of drugmakers, insurers, doctors, hospitals, HMOs, big government, or trial lawyers, American health care is careening off a cliff, and Mahar is to be praised for bringing clarity to one of the most complex issues of our times. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Sad.....but true in so many ways. Docs no longer treating their patients the way they COULD be..."Show me the money! Read morePublished 4 months ago by C Heermans
This book is a must read if you are interested in the history of medical care and how it has been manipulated.Published 13 months ago by justinesally
I like it. In my opinion is a an actual reflection of how many medical professionals and companies behaves in the USAPublished 17 months ago by Eladio Rivera
Easy to read. For me, a page-turner. Gives us the 20th century timelines for the emergence of too-expensive health care. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
Clear summary of how healthcare-related businesses in the US are motivated first by profits and (a very distant) secondly to healing.Published on June 16, 2013 by Mary J N Tran
This is a smart, strong, informative book that updates Paul Starr's 1982 classic. There are still important developments and changes to still add. Read morePublished on January 24, 2013 by Richard P. Nathan
A must read for all Americans who should understand how our healthcare system really works.
Extremely well documented. Mahar didn't shy away from any issue.
ESSENTIAL for UNDERSTANDING USA SICKNESS-CARE SYSTEM.
The Amazon system of user reviews is very beneficial for all thinkers. Read more
This is a book full of statistics, quotes from academics and an occasional graph in black-and-white. Read morePublished on January 6, 2011 by Blusuede