Overtreated Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer


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Bloomsbury USA


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1582345791

9781582345796

368 Pages

$17.00

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
Award-winning journalist Shannon Brownlee takes readers inside the hospital to examine the hypocrisies and dismantle some of our most venerated myths about the American medical system. Using the stories of real patients and physicians, Overtreated debunks the idea that most of medicine is based in sound science, and shows how our health care system delivers unnecessary care that is not only expensive and wasteful but can actually imperil the health of patients.

The interests of politicians and the medical-industrial complex continually trump those of patients, seducing the wealthy with unnecessary procedures and leaving the poor with haphazard access to treatment. Backward economic incentives allow patients with chronic conditions to receive ineffective care, and red tape undermines even the best-intentioned doctors. Tens of thousands of patients die each year from overtreatment.
Nevertheless, Overtreated ultimately conveys a message of hope by reframing the debate over health care reform. Americans worry about rationing—that any effort to rein in the high cost of health care will result in limited access to life-saving treatments. Covering the uninsured seems like an insurmountable problem because it will drive up costs even more. Overtreated proposes a way to control costs and cover the uninsured, while simultaneously improving the quality of American medicine. Shannon Brownlee’s humane, intelligent, and penetrating analysis empowers readers to avoid the perils of overtreatment, as well as pointing the way to better health care for everyone.

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Shannon Brownlee’s stories and essays about medicine, health care, and biotechnology have appeared in such publications as the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and Time. Born and raised in Honolulu, she holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of California. She is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. Brownlee lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and son.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Shannon Brownlee’s stories and essays about medicine, health care, and biotechnology have appeared in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Time. Born and raised in Honolulu, she holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of California. She is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. Brownlee lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and son.

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