An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal
How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

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The physician-turned-journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal offers a very different answer in her eye-opening “An American Sickness.”...Where Rosenthal’s account falls short is in explaining why this deeply broken system persists.
-NY Times

Synopsis

New York Times bestseller.

At a moment of drastic political upheaval, An American Sickness is a shocking investigation into our dysfunctional healthcare system - and offers practical solutions to its myriad problems.

“Patients can save thousands of dollars by purchasing An American Sickness by Elisabeth Rosenthal.”— New York Journal of Books

In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast?

Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries—the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers—that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. How did healthcare, the caring endeavor, become healthcare, the highly profitable industry? Hospital systems, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Patients receive bills in code, from entrepreneurial doctors they never even saw. 

The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms, she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. In clear and practical terms, she spells out exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship and to hospital C-suites, explaining step-by-step the workings of a system badly lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate the maze that is American healthcare and also to demand far-reaching reform. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.
 

About Elisabeth Rosenthal

See more books from this Author
Dr. Elisabeth L. Rosenthal, a longtime New York Times senior writer, was born in New York City. She received a B.S. degree in biology from Stanford University, an M.A. degree in English literature from Cambridge University, and an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School.
Author Residence: New York
Author Hometown: New York
 
Published April 11, 2017 by Penguin Press. 412 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 30 2017
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for An American Sickness
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Feb 13 2017

A scathing denouncement, stronger in portraying the system’s problems than in offering pragmatic solutions.

Read Full Review of An American Sickness: How Hea... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jun 19 2017

Rosenthal, a New York Times senior writer and former physician, provocatively analyzes the U.S. healthcare system and finds that it’s “rigged against you,” delving into what’s gone wrong as well as how Americans can make it right.

Read Full Review of An American Sickness: How Hea... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Roberta E. Winter on Apr 16 2017

Rest assured not all doctors or health facilities will be cooperative and persistence will be required, but patients can save thousands of dollars by purchasing An American Sickness by Elizabeth Rosenthal.

Read Full Review of An American Sickness: How Hea... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Jacob s. hacker on Apr 04 2017

The physician-turned-journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal offers a very different answer in her eye-opening “An American Sickness.”...Where Rosenthal’s account falls short is in explaining why this deeply broken system persists.

Read Full Review of An American Sickness: How Hea... | See more reviews from NY Times

https://www.booklistonline.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Karen Springen on Feb 15 2017

In this in-depth analysis of a malfunctioning system, Rosenthal makes a compelling case against the hospital and pharmaceutical executives behind the “money chase,” and it’s hard to imagine a more educated, credible guide.

Read Full Review of An American Sickness: How Hea...

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