Julie Stielstra's Reviews > Code Blue: Inside America's Medical Industrial Complex

Code Blue by Mike Magee
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really liked it
bookshelves: health-medicine

Pretty much everyone agrees the American healthcare system (if you can even call it that) is broken. Badly broken. Mike Magee is here to tell you how it got that way, and it's worse than you imagined. Decade upon decade of collusion (yes! collusion!), connivance, coverups, downright criminal behavior, politicking, horse-trading, lies and more lies are the core ingredients of what Magee calls the Medical-Industrial Complex, the cabal of insurers, pharma executives, trade associations, academic and research institutions who have all joined hands (and sometimes fought, changed sides, made up, then fell out again) in pursuit of... public health? better medical care? high-tech disease-curing breakthroughs? care for the poor, the elderly, the sick? Uh-uh. Money. It's ALL about the money.

He knows whereof he speaks, having been a very successful part of it for much of his career as a physician, educator, hospital administrator, and finally a high-level honcho at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. This is where I can't shake off some queasiness about why, if it was so bad and he knew it, how come it took him so long to get out? Nevertheless, this is a detailed, damning, closely referenced account of the nightmare.

It is enlightening to read the blazing criticism of Medicare when it was proposed in the early 60's... because it uses the same language and tactics we heard about the Affordable Care Act under Obama, and that we hear daily today about any alternative system being proposed. And guess what? Medicare worked out quite nicely, thank you. The chapter on the opioid crisis doesn't describe much more than we already know... except for the back room, shell-company, sweetheart dealings expertly managed by the likes of the Sacklers.

Vivid, appalling, and very very important. Read it.
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Reading Progress

July 17, 2019 – Started Reading
July 17, 2019 – Shelved
July 17, 2019 – Shelved as: health-medicine
July 20, 2019 – Finished Reading

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