America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System

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Random House Publishing Group, Jan 5, 2015 - History - 528 pages
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • 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
“A tour de force . . . a comprehensive and suitably furious guide to the political landscape of American healthcare . . . persuasive, shocking.”The New York Times
“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

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bness2 - LibraryThing

One of the best books I have read on healthcare policy. The majority of the book is a detailed, blow by blow history of Obamacare. Although Brill gives well-deserved credit for Obama's role in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JFBallenger - LibraryThing

This is a journalistic tour de force, a surprisingly suspenseful chronicle of the long political struggle that shaped Obamacare, the bureaucratic arrogance that almost killed it in the bungled roll ... Read full review

Selected pages


Looking Up from the Gurney
Center Stage
Max Barack Hillary Billy and the Gathering
This Is What I Thought the Senate Would Be Like
A New President Commits and His Camp Divides
Every Lobbyists Favorite Date
Punting to Capitol Hill
Deal Time
An Office Becomes a Centerand It Matters
Meantime Outside the Beltway
Waiting for Obamacare
A Guy in Jeans Red Lights and a Train Wreck
Two Months to
Thirty Days to
The Crash
Meltdown in D C Dancing on Eight in Kentucky

White House Turf Wars
The Tea Party Summer Im Feeling Lucky
Snow Jobs Poison Pills and Botox
New Trouble Then Mount Everest
In Washington Everything Is Slipping but Not
The Rescue
The Finish Line
Stuck in the Jalopy

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About the author (2015)

Steven Brill has written for The New Yorker, Time, and The New York Times Magazine. A graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, he also founded and ran Court TV, The American Lawyer magazine, ten regional legal newspapers, and Brill’s Content magazine. Brill was the author of Time’s March 4, 2013, Special Report “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” for which he won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Service. Brill also teaches journalism at Yale, where he founded the Yale Journalism Initiative to encourage and enable talented young people to become journalists. He is married, with three adult children, and lives in New York.

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