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In.2003, economist Helene Jorgensen was bitten by a tick and thus began her new, unpaid, and full-time job—sojourner through the U.S. health care system. Her five-year odyssey reveals the many inefficiencies and irrationalities that both characterize the system and put lives—and the U.S. economy—at risk.
Sick and Tired tells two stories. One examines Jorgensen's personal struggle to receive proper treatment for Lyme disease and to fend off an ever-expanding set of uncovered medical bills. The other narrative, based on Jorgensen's expertise as an economist, examines institutional failures at every stage of the U.S. health care system, including diagnosis, treatment, insurance, and prescriptions. Having surveyed those failures, she offers practical guidelines for their correction.
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About the Author
Now recovering from Lyme disease, Helene Jorgensen has worked as a labor economist for the Center of Economic and Policy Research and the Public Policy Department of the AFL-CIO. She has a Ph.D. in economics from American University and an M.S. in environmental science and policy from George Mason University.
Table of Contents
Tables and Figures ix
Author's Note xiii
1 Paradise Valley 1
2 Health Insurance Industry: Diagnosis 11
3 Doctors: Medical Opinion 33
4 Drugs: Quantity Override 59
5 Hospitals: Standby Surgery 83
6 Laboratories: Blood Suckers 107
7 Lyme Disease: Two Standards of Care 129
8 Health Care Reform: Recovery 149
About the Author 205