Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father%E2%80%94and How We Can Fix It

David Goldhill. Knopf, $25.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-307-96154-9
Nearly three years ago, Goldhill's father died from a series of infections contracted during his stay in an ICU unit of a well-known hospital, a tragedy first recounted by the author in a cover story for the Atlantic in 2009. Goldhill returns to his story and greatly expands on it in this fascinating and infuriating exposé of the American health care system, identifying its many flaws and suggesting pragmatic ways to fix them. Maintaining that the health care industry needs to answer first to consumers and then to insurance and pharmaceutical companies, Goldhill persuasively argues that a consumer-driven system—which will require greater vigilance and commitment on the part of citizens in actively managing their health—is the first step toward sustainability and lower individual and governmental costs. Deftly avoiding political land mines, Goldhill takes a fittingly clinical approach, examining the intricacies of Medicare ("already doomed, a victim of the perverse incentives inherent in its structure") and the Affordable Care Act before presenting his vision of recipient-based care. Goldhill's reasoned, logical alternative to the current system goes beyond political finger-pointing, and while his take is sobering, it's one that offers sound solutions. First printing: 50,000. Agent: The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 01/08/2013
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