NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • “A tour de force . . . a comprehensive and suitably furious guide to the political landscape of American healthcare . . . persuasive, shocking.”—The New York Times America’s Bitter Pill is Steven Brill’s acclaimed book on how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. It’s a fly-on-the-wall account of the titanic fight to pass a 961-page law aimed at fixing America’s largest, most dysfunctional industry. It’s a penetrating chronicle of how the profiteering that Brill first identified in his trailblazing Time magazine cover story continues, despite Obamacare. And it is the first complete, inside account of how President Obama persevered to push through the law, but then failed to deal with the staff incompetence and turf wars that crippled its implementation. But by chance America’s Bitter Pill ends up being much more—because as Brill was completing this book, he had to undergo urgent open-heart surgery. Thus, this also becomes the story of how one patient who thinks he knows everything about healthcare “policy” rethinks it from a hospital gurney—and combines that insight with his brilliant reporting. The result: a surprising new vision of how we can fix American healthcare so that it stops draining the bank accounts of our families and our businesses, and the federal treasury. Praise for America’s Bitter Pill “An energetic, picaresque, narrative explanation of much of what has happened in the last seven years of health policy . . . [Brill] has pulled off something extraordinary.”—The New York Times Book Review “A thunderous indictment of what Brill refers to as the ‘toxicity of our profiteer-dominated healthcare system.’ ”—Los Angeles Times “A sweeping and spirited new book [that] chronicles the surprisingly juicy tale of reform.”—The Daily Beast “One of the most important books of our time.”—Walter Isaacson “Superb . . . Brill has achieved the seemingly impossible—written an exciting book about the American health system.”—The New York Review of Books
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER America's Bitter Pill is Steven Brill's much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. Brill probed the depths of our nation's healthcare crisis in his trailblazingTime magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest. Now he broadens his lens and delves deeper, pulling no punches and taking no prisoners. It's a fly-on-the-wall account of the fight, amid an onslaught of lobbying, to pass a 961-page law aimed at fixing America's largest, most dysfunctional industry—an industry larger than the entire economy of France. It's a penetrating chronicle of how the profiteering that Brill first identified in hisTime cover story continues, despite Obamacare. And it is the first complete, inside account of how President Obama persevered to push through the law, but then failed to deal with the staff incompetence and turf wars that crippled its implementation. Brill questions all the participants in the drama, including the president, to find out what happened and why. He asks the head of the agency in charge of the Obamacare website how and why it crashed. And he tells the cliffhanger story of the tech wizards who swooped in to rebuild it. Brill gets drug lobbyists to open up on the deals they struck to protect their profits in return for supporting the law. And he buttresses all these accounts with meticulous research and access to internal memos, emails, notes, and journals written by the key players during all the pivotal moments. Brill is there with patients when they are denied cancer care at a hospital, or charged $77 for a box of gauze pads. Then he asks the multimillion-dollar executives who run the hospitals to explain why. He even confronts the chief executive of America's largest health insurance company and asks him to explain an incomprehensible Explanation of Benefits his company sent to Brill. And he's there as a group of young entrepreneurs gamble millions to use Obamacare to start a hip insurance company in New York's Silicon Alley. Vividly capturing what he calls the “milestone” achievement of Obamacare, Brill introduces us to patients whose bank accounts or lives have been saved by the new law—although, as he explains, that is only because Obamacare provides government subsidies for “tens of millions of new customers” to pay the same exorbitant prices that were the problem in the first place. All that is weaved together in an elegantly crafted, fast-paced narrative. But by chance America's Bitter Pill ends up being much more—because as Brill was completing this book, he had to undergo urgent open-heart surgery. Thus, this also becomes the story of how one patient who thinks he knows everything about healthcare “policy” rethinks it from a hospital gurney—and combines that insight with his brilliant reporting. The result: a surprising new vision of how we can fix American healthcare so that it stops draining the bank accounts of our families and our businesses, and the federal treasury. From the Hardcover edition.
In this revelatory narrative covering the years 1967 to 2017, Steven Brill gives us a stunningly cogent picture of the broken system at the heart of our society. He shows us how, over the last half century, America’s core values—meritocracy, innovation, due process, free speech, and even democracy itself—have somehow managed to power its decline into dysfunction. They have isolated our best and brightest, whose positions at the top have never been more secure or more remote. The result has been an erosion of responsibility and accountability, an epidemic of shortsightedness, an increasingly hollow economic and political center, and millions of Americans gripped by apathy and hopelessness. By examining the people and forces behind the rise of big-money lobbying, legal and financial engineering, the demise of private-sector unions, and a hamstrung bureaucracy, Brill answers the question on everyone’s mind: How did we end up this way? Finally, he introduces us to those working quietly and effectively to repair the damages. At once a diagnosis of our national ills, a history of their development, and a prescription for a brighter future, Tailspin is a work of riveting journalism—and a welcome antidote to political despair.
In 1946 Juan Perón launched a populist challenge to the United States, recruiting an army of labor activists to serve as worker attachés at every Argentine embassy. By 1955, over five hundred would serve, representing the largest presence of blue-collar workers in the foreign service of any country in history. A meatpacking union leader taught striking workers in Chicago about rising salaries under Perón. A railroad motorist joined the revolution in Bolivia. A baker showed Soviet workers the daily caloric intake of their Argentine counterparts. As Ambassadors of the Working Class shows, the attachés' struggle against US diplomats in Latin America turned the region into a Cold War battlefield for the hearts of the working classes. In this context, Ernesto Semán reveals, for example, how the attachés' brand of transnational populism offered Fidel Castro and Che Guevara their last chance at mass politics before their embrace of revolutionary violence. Fiercely opposed by Washington, the attachés’ project foundered, but not before US policymakers used their opposition to Peronism to rehearse arguments against the New Deal's legacies.
In a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over America’s failure to educate its children—and points the way to reversing that failure. IN a reporting tour de force, award-winning journalist Steven Brill takes an uncompromising look at the adults who are fighting over America’s failure to educate its children—and points the way to reversing that failure. Brill’s vivid narrative—filled with unexpected twists and turns—takes us from the Oval Office, where President Obama signs off on an unprecedented plan that will infuriate the teachers’ unions because it offers billions to states that win an education reform “contest”; to boisterous assemblies, where parents join the fight over their children’s schools; to a Fifth Avenue apartment, where billionaires plan a secret fund to promote school reform; to a Colorado high school, where students who seemed destined to fail are instead propelled to college; to state capitols across the country, where school reformers hoping to win Obama’s “contest” push bills that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. It’s the story of an unlikely army—fed-up public school parents, Ivy League idealists, hedge-funders, civil rights activists, conservative Republicans, insurgent Democrats—squaring off against unions that the reformers claim are protecting a system that works for the adults but victimizes the children. Class Warfare is filled with extraordinary people taking extraordinary paths: a young woman who goes into teaching almost by accident, then becomes so talented and driven that fighting burnout becomes her biggest challenge; an antitrust lawyer who almost brought down Bill Gates’s Microsoft and now forms a partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates to overhaul New York’s schools; a naïve Princeton student who launches an army of school reformers with her senior thesis; a California teachers’ union lobbyist who becomes the mayor of Los Angeles and then the union’s prime antagonist; a stubborn young teacher who, as a child growing up on Park Avenue, had been assumed to be learning disabled but ends up co-founding the nation’s most successful charter schools; and an anguished national union leader who walks a tightrope between compromising enough to save her union and giving in so much that her members will throw her out. Brill not only takes us inside their roller-coaster battles, he also concludes with a surprising prescription for what it will take from both sides to put the American dream back in America’s schools.
Did you know... Medical interventions have become the third leading cause of death in America. An estimated 10 percent of Americans are implanted with medical devices -- like pacemakers, artificial hips, cardiac stents, etc. The overwhelming majority of high-risk implanted devices have never undergone a single clinical trial. In The Danger Within Us, award-winning journalist Jeanne Lenzer brings these horrifying statistics to life through the story of one working class man who, after his "cure" nearly kills him, ends up in a battle for justice against the medical establishment. His crusade leads Lenzer on a journey through the dark underbelly of the medical device industry, a fascinating and disturbing world that hasn't been written about before. What Lenzer exposes will shock readers: rampant corruption, elaborate cover-ups, shameless profiteering, and astonishing lack of oversight, all of which leads to dangerous devices (from artificial hips to pacemakers) going to market and into our bodies. In the vein of America's Bitter Pill and A Civil Action, The Danger Within Us is a stirring call for reform and a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of American healthcare. "Before you get anything implanted in your body, read this book."-Shannon Brownlee, author of Overtreated
This is the story of LSD told by a concerned yet hopeful father, organic chemist Albert Hofmann. He traces LSDs path from a promising psychiatric research medicine to a recreational drug sparking hysteria and prohibition.We follow Dr. Hofmanns trek across Mexico to discover sacred plants related to LSD, and listen in as he corresponds with other notable figures about his remarkable discovery.Underlying it all is Dr. Hofmanns powerful conclusion that mystical experience may be our planets best hope for survival. Whether induced by LSD, meditation, or arising spontaneously, such experiences help us to comprehend the wonder, the mystery of the divine in the microcosm of the atom, in the macrocosm of the spiral nebula, in the seeds of plants, in the body and soul of people.Now, more than sixty years after the birth of Albert Hofmanns problem child, his vision of its true potential is more relevant, and more needed, than ever.
Thirty-six major contemporary writers examine life in a deeply divided America—including Anthony Doerr, Ann Patchett, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Hector Tobar, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Russo, Eula Bliss, Karen Russell, and many more America is broken. You don’t need a fistful of statistics to know this. Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered social compact will present itself. From Appalachia to the Rust Belt and down to rural Texas, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest stretches to unimaginable chasms. Whether the cause of this inequality is systemic injustice, the entrenchment of racism in our culture, the long war on drugs, or immigration policies, it endangers not only the American Dream but our very lives. In Tales of Two Americas, some of the literary world’s most exciting writers look beyond numbers and wages to convey what it feels like to live in this divided nation. Their extraordinarily powerful stories, essays, and poems demonstrate how boundaries break down when experiences are shared, and that in sharing our stories we can help to alleviate a suffering that touches so many people.