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Casino Healthcare : The Health of a Nation: America's Biggest Gamble (Paperback) (Dan Munro)

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Author Michael Lewis was recently interviewed by Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes and a quote from that interview was the inspiration and influence for Casino Healthcare. ?If it wasn’t complicated, it wouldn’t be allowed to happen. The complexity disguises what’s happening. If it’s so complicated that you can’t understand it - then you can’t question it.” What Michael was referencing, of course, was high-speed trading on Wall Street, but the quote could just as easily be applied to healthcare. In fact, it's tailor-made. The statistics prove just how much of a casino the U.S. healthcare system has become. ? As a country, we now spend over $10,000 per year - for each person - just on healthcare. ? Measured as an economic unit, U.S. Healthcare is now the size of Germany. ? Preventable medical errors are now the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. (behind cancer and heart disease). ? Medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. ? Hospital pricing is determined by a cabal ? in secret ? and beyond legal challenge. ? The Pharmaceutical industry ? with profit margins that often eclipse tech giants like Apple and Google ? paid out a whopping $15 billion in fines over the last six years ? just for off-label drug marketing. ? American healthcare was recently ranked dead last when compared to 10 other countries. The system has become so complex and opaque that most Americans have simply given up on understanding how it works. Whole families are crushed in this casino trying to pay for unanticipated medical expenses, many of which are immediate, unavoidable and life threatening. The huge expense might be defensible if the system delivered exceptional quality, but it doesn't. When the World Health Organization last ranked health systems, the U.S. came in at #37 ? just ahead of #38 (Slovenia) and behind #36 (Costa Rica). Casino Healthcare is not a theoretical policy book for the elite, but a book that penetrates the blanket of fog surrounding a major ? and growing ? household expense for every American. With the research and style of an investigative journalist, the book is easy to understand and accessible by everyone. The U.S. healthcare system was never designed from whole cloth with a strategic vision or intent, but instead it has evolved through the decades with a host of legislative "patches" and temporary fixes. The reason for this is simple. When a casino is generating profits of this magnitude it's critical to keep the casino humming and almost impossible to close it. Rick Scott ? now the Governor of Florida ? captured the enormous scale of this challenge with a very simple two-sentence quote: ?How many businesses do you know that want to cut their revenue in half? That's why the healthcare system won't change the healthcare system.” Americans have a right to be angry with how the U.S. healthcare system has been hijacked for revenue and profits. One analyst recently categorize

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