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Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0520244429 ISBN-10: 0520244427 Edition: 1st

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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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

Review

"'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"

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 19, 2006
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leah K. Diamond on May 7, 2007
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MUST READ for anyone who wants a little enlightenment on HealthCare in US. Being a nurse that has worked/volunteered in a local free clinic for many years has clued me in to a few more items that could be included though.
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Format: Paperback
Interesting perspectives on the lifespan of life insurance in America. It is an easy to read book with cases of Americans suffering as they lack the care needed for times of need and especially disappointing was the lack of care, in many instances, for the elderly.

I am a Canadian, we have a much smaller population and are able to provide people with health care. I have lived abroad for a good part of my life and even in the Gulf for example not only nationals but non-nationals are entitled to free health care at national hospitals. Why can the USA be different - because its political and business oriented. That is not genuine health care. OK, the treatment and facilities may be superior for difficult cases (I think they are) so there is an advantage, but at the basic level when basic health care has gone wrong - how can a nation be proud of that.

Many thought Obama would address these issues, and in his heart he is, but after receiving the nob[le] speech prize little change is occurring since the publication of this 2005/6 publication. Too bad. Society loses out there. Careful who you elect.
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