Ed Bernard's Reviews > Code Blue: Inside America's Medical Industrial Complex

Code Blue by Mike Magee
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it was amazing

A comprehensive indictment of the American system of health care by someone who should know — McGee has been a working physician AND an executive of a large pharma company (Pfizer) so he knows a couple of sides of this convoluted, deeply screwed up narrative personally. He skewers what he calls the Medical Industrial Complex thoroughly — its history, the self-serving and shameful conduct of the AMA, the unholy alliance between researchers and drug companies, all of it. Here are two random facts that should outrage everyone: 1) as part of the Marshall Plan, the US outfitted our two most significant foes in WWII (Germany and Japan) with a shiny new healthcare system that operated from the assumption that a healthy citizenry was essential for a functional first-world nation, and thus made a system that was both affordable and effective. When Truman tried to implement the SAME system in the US, resistance from the AMA (the first to label a government operated single payer system “socialized medicine,” a legacy that still haunts today) scuttled the plan. Which leads to fact 2) the US has by far the highest health care costs in the world … and our outcomes are the worst — by one count, 15th out of 15 nations. Since the 40’s, the drug companies have become rich and powerful as well, so we now have absurdities like American drug companies exporting drugs to Canada, where Canadians pay far lower prices because the costs are negotiated by the government, not for-profit insurers … AND, American providers can’t re-import these drugs on the ridiculous premise that the FDA can’t ensure that they are safe and effective. Our own drugs! It’s just nuts. Who knew health care was so complicated (to toss a gratuitous jibe at Donald Trump … sorry, it was just sitting there teed up, gotta take a swing at it)? McGee offers a few ideas to get us out of this mess which seem fraught with either existential problems or unlikely to solve much, but it hardly even matters — the core of this book is his scathing indictment of the MIC and he handles it with clarity, equanimity and engaging narratives. Just a brilliant book that everyone should read.

Grade: A
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Reading Progress

September 10, 2019 – Started Reading
September 13, 2019 – Finished Reading
September 19, 2019 – Shelved

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