What We’re Reading — April

It would be hard to miss the buzz about Elizabeth Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back, just out April 11. It is a stunning indictment of what our health care system has evolved into, and why. She spares none of the usual suspects in the system.

Publisher’s Weekly, in a starred review, called it “an astonishing takedown,” dissecting its flaws with “surgical precision” before prescribing the “rigorous but necessary steps to fix the broken system.” Kirkus called it “a blast across the bow of the entire health care industry, and concluded it was a “scathing denouncement, stronger in portraying the system’s problems than in offering pragmatic solutions.”

In his review in The New York Times, “Why An Open Market Won’t Repair American Health Care,” Jacob S. Hacker agrees with Dr. Rosenthal that health care has become less like a market and more like a protection racket. He echoed her suggestion that we need to “start a very loud conversation” about the topic, as well as about the political barriers to change.

Dr. Rosenthal has been on a media blitz for her book. Among others, she’s been interviewed by:

She has also appeared on:

Somehow she even had time to give a lecture at the Case Western University School of Law on the topic:

Tincture was fortunate to recently feature her tips How to Save Money at the Hospital, which were

  • Avoid a private room;
  • Avoid out-of-network charges;
  • Be clear on the terms of your stay in the hospital
  • Identify every unfamiliar person who appears at your bedside
  • Refuse unnecessary equipment.

Dr. Rosenthal had similar recommendations about doctors’ visits, detailing 6 questions you should ask when at the doctor’s office..

Interested readers may also want to check out some related Tincture articles, such as Dave Chase’s Health 3.0 Pyramid, Zahir MD’s Staring a Gift Horse in the Mouth, and Kim Bellard’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

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