In The New York Times Book Review, Jacob S. Hacker reviews Elisabeth Rosenthal’s “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back.” Hacker writes:
As Rosenthal describes American health care, it’s not really a market; it’s more like a protection racket — tolerated only because so many different institutions are chipping in to cover the extortionary bill and because, ultimately, it’s our lives that are on the line.
Consider the epicenter of America’s cost crisis: the once humble hospital. Thanks in part to hit TV shows, we think of hospitals as public-spirited pillars of local communities. Yet while most are legally classified as nonprofits, they are also very big businesses, maximizing surpluses that can be plowed into rising salaries and relentless expansion even when they are not earning profits or remunerating shareholders. And they have grown much bigger and more businesslike over time.
On this week’s podcast, Rosenthal talks about “An American Sickness”; Jill Filipovic discusses “Unwanted Advances,” by Laura Kipnis, and “The Campus Rape Frenzy,” by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr.; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Parul Sehgal, Gregory Cowles and John Williams on what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.
Here are the books (and the article) mentioned in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:
“Ghachar Ghochar” by Vivek Shanbhag
“Approaching Eye Level” by Vivian Gornick
“Ties” by Domenico Starnone
“Changing My Mind” by Zadie Smith
“The Belly of Paris” by Émile Zola
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