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A visionary and completely original investigation that will change the way we think about health care: how and why it is failing, why expanding insurance coverage will only make things worse, and how it can be transformed into a transparent, affordable, successful system. In 2007, David Goldhill's father died from a series of infections acquired in a well-regarded New York hospital. The bill was for several hundred thousand dollars--and Medicare paid it. These circumstances left Goldhill angry and determined to understand how it was possible that world-class technology and well-trained personnel could result in such simple, inexcusable carelessness--and how a business that failed so miserably could be rewarded with full payment. Catastrophic Care is the eye-opening result. Goldhill explicates a health-care system that now costs nearly $2.5 trillion annually, bars many from treatment, provides inconsistent quality of care, offers negligible customer service, and in which an estimated 200,000 Americans die each year from errors. Above all, he exposes the fundamental fallacy of our entire system--that Medicare and insurance coverage make care cheaper and improve our health--and suggests a comprehensive new approach that could produce better results at more acceptable costs immediately by giving us, the patients, a real role in the process.