Life, Death, and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

David Ansell tells the story of one of America's oldest and most unusual urban hospitals, Chicago's Cook County Hospital—both a renowned teaching hospital and the healthcare provider of last resort for the city's uninsured. County: Life, Death, and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital covers more than 30 years of its history, beginning in the late 1970s when the author began his internship there. Ansell writes of the doctors and patients, politics, and public health, and gives an account of a young doctor’s medical education in urban America, set against a backdrop of race, segregation and poverty.


David Ansell

Comments [12]

Cheryl from New York

When will this book be available on Kindle? I can't wait to read it.

Jul. 13 2011 04:55 PM

For clarification:

The deductibles, premiums & co-pays are for Medicare Parts A/B & D. These premiums alone are paid for by monthly deductions and/or patient payments amounting to $1345/year from Social Security benefits.

Jul. 13 2011 12:53 PM

Until Medicare/Medicaid are merged so that all primary care needs are met (PCP, dental, vision, screening, Dx confirmation, etc., we will not have a US "system."

Currently, Medicare doesn't cover dental & vision which are needed for disease prevention, fall prevention, Rx drug dosage safety, etc.

At the lowest SS benefit level, the poor, elderly & disabled are deprived of their medicine, sufficient food to assure health and Rx effectiveness & the OTC/complementary needs to cope with chronic diseases and their chronic meds.

This will NOT change in January 2012, as the deductibles, premiums & co-pays will all increase when a 1 year COLA replaces a 3 year benefit freeze.

Jul. 13 2011 12:52 PM
Tracey from Ridgewood, NJ

I am a volunteer RN at a free primary care clinic for uninsured adults. Every day I see the solution to people having to use ER's for basic health care. It is a pennywise approach to solving part of the current crisis.

Jul. 13 2011 12:42 PM
Larry in Nyack from Nyack

I'd like to know how the medical schools need to change so that not only do more doctors go into primary care, but that they don't start off careers with enormous debts?

Jul. 13 2011 12:39 PM
Peter from New York City

Is the doctor aware of the loss of St. Vincent's in Greenwich Village? 350K people on the lower West Side now have no hospital. ERs around see their waiting times now at 5 hrs on average.

Jul. 13 2011 12:36 PM

Bravo, Dr. Ansell!!!! Medicare Plus -- he's exactly right. Economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman have made much the same point.

And Mr. Lopate has _nailed_ the very essence of contemporary American policy — tax the poor and middle class (to give to the rich). This point was made by Paul Krugman when Obama struck his "compromise" with Republicans to extend the Bush tax giveaways last fall. Krugman called it the largest transfer — from all of us to the rich — in history (world history).

Jul. 13 2011 12:33 PM

Dr. Ansell sounds like he is well-outside the mainstream of American healthcare thinkers. Insurers clearly embrace the current unjust, unequal -- even murderous -- system. Most of the political class seem to embrace the same. Likewise, most in journalism.

So what is to be done generally if the spirit of Dr. Ansell's recommendations are to be realized nationwide?

Jul. 13 2011 12:30 PM
Dorothy from Manhattan (near the old St. Vincents)

In the meantime in New York a major hospital closes in order that it be replaced by luxury condos.

Jul. 13 2011 12:25 PM

I assume that part of the rationale behind scheduling this Ansell interview at this time is that we are in a time when _every_ public institution (except the military and those things that serve the rich) is under attack from ALL Republicans and many Democrats (most astonishingly, Barack Obama).

The New York Times today has a story on how teaching hospitals are facing cuts in federal aid.

What in hell is foremost in the minds of Americans that we can be expanding wars abroad while cutting healthcare, education, infrastructure at home?!

The past that Dr. Ansell describes sounds like it might well be the future.

Jul. 13 2011 12:23 PM
Sally from LES

This needs to be a show on network TV. A period show!

Jul. 13 2011 12:22 PM
Sean from Brooklyn

Did he really just say "lots of white people"?

Jul. 13 2011 12:20 PM

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