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Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520244429
ISBN-10: 0520244427
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Sered, an anthropologist, and Fernandopulle, a doctor specializing in public-health policy, provide a troubling look at Americans without health insurance, some of whom must choose between food and medical treatment. They interviewed more than 120 uninsured Americans in Texas, Mississippi, Idaho, Illinois, and Massachusetts as well as physicians, administrators, and health-policy officials. The result is a collection of heartrending stories of the "caste of the ill, the infirm, and the marginally employed." The authors describe the "death spiral" of people who lack insurance for myriad reasons--including self-employment and divorce--and whose illnesses cannot be adequately treated. Their medical conditions inevitably deteriorate--small tumors metastasize, diabetes leads to amputation or dialysis treatments--increasing both the costs and the dire consequences. Once individuals are caught in the death spiral, they are unlikely to find a way out. The ultimate impact of this shocking crisis is felt by all Americans in the form of higher health-care costs and more antibiotic-resistant bacteria as conditions go untreated. This is a stark and disturbing book. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"'The next time someone tells you the United States has 'the best health care system in the world,' ask them to read this powerful, heartbreaking book. Never have the real stories of America's uninsured been told with such clarity and insight." - John E. McDonough, DPH, Health Care For All, Boston"

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (April 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520244427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520244429
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Reid on June 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
40,000,000 - 50,000,000 Americans have no health insurance and another group of Americans of equal size are underinsured. Americans have to choose between food and medicine. Americans live in a land of opportunity until they have a challenge to their health. If you have a challenge to your health and if you do not have the best private health insurance you will enter a death spiral as the change in your health will drain away your money and your hope. It is a sad day - only in America, the land of no national health insurance.
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Format: Hardcover
The authors strongly couch their presentation as attesting to the rise of a caste system in the United States. Where the caste consists of the chronically ill, infirm and marginally employed. Several members of this group are interviewed. In the MidWest, Mississipi and other regions.

A common symptom is a death spiral, whereby working class individuals, who might indeed have worked very hard, but then suffered injuries, fall into a feedback loop. Where they can barely afford health case. Except for emergency room admissions. A cruel paradox.

The book goes into how the stress of poverty and being ill can feed into and reinforce each other.

Another ironic aspect shown is how caregivers can often lack health insurance. A bitter scenario that is all too common.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not a work of fiction, it is horrifyingly real and it will keep you up at night unable to put the book down. Each chapter contains real-life situations that people across the country face as they struggle to survive without health insurance. These are facts you think can only happen to "other" people, but these others are looking more and more like us. Somehow, their lives still remain hidden from the general public, but this book deserves to be discussed on 60 minutes to make people aware of what is happening in our country. This book terrified me more than any horror novel ever could, because it could happen to any one of us at any time.
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