Critical Condition: How Health Care In America Became Big Business-And Bad Medicine:


Title: Critical Condition: How Health Care In America Became Big Business-And Bad Medicine:

Authors: Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

ISBN: 038550453

The following review was contributed by:NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures:

REVIEW

Investigative reporters and the only journalists in history to be awarded two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards, Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele have presented a riveting exposť of the critical state of the health system in the United States with their book Critical Condition: How Health Care In America Became Big Business-And Bad Medicine.

Beginning with the assertion that American health care has been transposed from one of compassion to a system motivated by profit- the authors present a distressing analysis as to what went wrong. Where forty-four million citizens do not have health insurance, and tens of millions more are underinsured. And yet there seems to be this enduring myth propagated by many that the USA has a "world- class health system."

As mentioned by the authors, the USA spends more on health care than any other nation, when you compare it to Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and Canada. However, in these countries citizens do not think twice about seeking care if they are ill. They do not worry who will foot the bills.

In the USA, it has become a lottery. If you are fortunate to be employed by a large company providing generous health benefits, you win. On the other hand, if you are self-employed or work for a small enterprise providing little or no coverage, you lose. You may even go bankrupt and lose your home in order to pay your medical bills.

Relying on interviews, studies from various organizations as the World Health Organization, the US department of Health and Human Services, legal suits, brokerage reports, congressional hearings, newspaper articles, magazine stories, SEC filings, professional journals, and a resevoir of many other sources (all of which are mentioned in the Notes section at the back of the book), the authors deliver legitimate arguments illustrating how an assortment of factors have crawled into the system with calamitous effects.

Broken down into six chapters, Barlett and Steele judiciously examine some of these elements as: rampant overcharging of patients who do not have insurance, dissuading people from purchasing drugs from Canada with false information concerning the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, caving into the demands of special interest groups, the non-existence of independent monitoring of diagnostic test results and hospital mistakes, permitting politicians and business people to assume key roles to the detriment of the welfare of the citizens, a culture of cronyism giving rise to blatant fraud in many instances, doctors having to deal with conditions apt to be found in undeveloped countries, peopled shuffled around by individuals who do not have the foggiest notion as to how to deal with them.

In addition, we are informed of how private enterprises connected with Wall Street financiers and Madison Avenue advertising firms have been permitted to join in as if health care was analogous to the selling of cars or MacDonald's franchises. As the authors rightfully ask: "Is this what health care in America has become?"

Although the authors portray a certain amount of cynicism, there is a glimmer of hope, as evidenced by the concluding chapter, wherein suggestions are offered as to how to revamp the ailing system.

However, the question lingers on. Will Americans reconsider their values, priorities, budgets and options and elect people, who will first and foremost take care of its citizens when it comes to health care? Something most civilized nations do.

Norm Goldman is Editor of the book reviewing site, www.bookpleasures.com">http://www.bookpleasures.com and the travel site, www.sketchandtravel.com.">http://www.sketchandtravel.com.

Norm is also a regular contributor to many book reviewing sites. You can read Norm's book reviews on his book reviewing site bookpleasures.com.

Norm and his artist wife Lily are a unique husband and wife team who meld art with words focusuing on unique romantic and wedding destinations. To learn more about them click on their site at www.sketchandtravel.com">http://www.sketchandtravel.com


MORE RESOURCES:
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that Richard Ford, author of "Independence Day" – the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award – will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Aug. 31.

In 2015, with the purchase of the Shakespeare & Co. name in the U.S. and the successful acquisition of a lease to the store's former 5,000 sq. ft. location on Lexington Ave. on New York's Upper East side, Dane Neller, cofounder and CEO of On Demand Books (the maker of the Espresso Book Machine) and a group of investors took the first steps toward creating an indie bookstore chain. While Neller and friends are still shy of the number of locations that their namesake had at its height, six stores in New York City, the group plans to surpass that number next year...

The bestselling author who accused her husband of poisoning her was jailed for direct contempt after a court hearing last month.

Kenyon was accused of calling one of her husband's attorneys a "f---ing liar" as she abruptly left the courtroom during the hearing on April 23. After returning to the courtroom minutes later, she accused one of her husband's family members of being a pedophile.

Herman Wouk, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Navy drama The Caine Mutiny, whose sweeping novels about World War II, the Holocaust and the creation of Israel made him one of the most popular writers of his generation and helped revitalize the genre of historical fiction, died May 17 at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 10 days shy of his 104th birthday.

Faber emerged victorious at the British Book Awards 2019 on Monday evening (13th May), with Sally Rooney's Normal People scooping the coveted Book of the Year award. The book had earlier won the Fiction Book of the Year prize, while Faber stablemate Leila Slimani's Lullaby won the Debut Fiction category. The 90-year-old company also took the Independent Publisher of the Year gong in the trade section of the awards.

Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche communities for adults with learning disabilities, living alongside those without them, has died aged 90.

In August 1964, having giving up his job teaching philosophy at the University of Toronto, he bought a small, rundown house without plumbing or electricity in the village of Trosly-Breuil, north of Paris, and invited two men with learning disabilities – Raphaël Simi and Philippe Seux – to share it with him. Both had been living in an asylum and were without family. Today L'Arche (the ark) has 150 communities, in 38 countries, supporting 3,500 people with learning disabilities.

Vanier wrote 30 books on spirituality and community, including Community and Growth (1979), Becoming Human (1998), Befriending the Stranger (2005) and Life's Great Questions (2015). In 2015 he was awarded the £1.1m Templeton prize, for making "an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension".

The Poetry Foundation has announced Marilyn Nelson as the winner of the 2019 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Naomi Shihab Nye the 2019–2021 Young People's Poet Laureate, and Terrance Hayes winner of the 2019 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. The awards are sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, an independent literary organization and publisher of Poetry magazine, and will be presented at the Pegasus Awards Ceremony at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago on Monday, June 10.

Novelist Ben Dolnick waxes lyrical on the benefits or ditching Netflix for a novel. And not just because a novelist is telling you to:

One night a couple of summers ago, the power went out and, unable to watch Netflix or engage in my customary internet fugue, I lit a candle and picked up a thriller by Ruth Rendell. For the first time in as long as I could remember, my sole source of entertainment for an evening was going to be a book...

Cengage and McGraw-Hill, two of the largest academic publishers remaining, have agreed to a merger on equal terms that is expected to close by early 2020, the companies announced yesterday.

Baker & Taylor has made it official: it is leaving the wholesale retail book market. The move was hinted at when it became public late last year that the company was in talks to sell its retail operations to Ingram and then in the departure over the last few months of key retail staff members. B&T will focus on its traditional core business of servicing libraries, as well as publisher services...

Paul Swydan, owner of the Silver Unicorn Bookstore, West Acton, Mass., wrote on Twitter, "It means I will make less money when I fill special orders for customers, because Baker & Taylor's sole competition offers a much lower discount." He added, "In the larger sense, it's another example of how Amazon is crippling this country in their mostly unchecked quest to monopolize any business they choose to focus on."

thatware.org ©