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An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Kennedy Hall, Call Auditorium

In her talk, Dr. Rosenthal will examine the current state of medical care in the U.S.: routine office visits billed at hundreds of dollars; surprise “out-of-network” costs for tests we’re told are necessary; drugs that are relatively inexpensive one day suddenly sky-rocket overnight. Suggesting that the medical industry is now in the money-making business and not the healing one, Dr. Rosenthal seeks to educate people on how we arrived at this point. She asserts that this understanding is required before meaningful change can take place.

Elisabeth Rosenthal is the author of An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back (Penguin Random House, 2017). A medical doctor, she currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News (KHN), the independent foundation-funded reporting project focusing on health and health policy news. She joined KHN in 2016 after 22 years as a correspondent at the New York Times, where she covered a variety of beats from healthcare to the environment to reporter in the Beijing bureau. While in China she covered SARs, bird flu and the emergence of HIV/AIDS in rural areas. Rosenthal’s two-year-long New York Times series “Paying Till it Hurts” (2013-14) won many prizes for both health reporting and its creative use of digital tools. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Medical School and briefly practiced medicine in a New York City emergency room before turning to a profession to journalism.

This lecture is supported by a gift from Jennifer Koen-Horowitz ’93 and Mark Horowitz. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Policy Analysis and Management and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, both of which reside in the College of Human Ecology.

Event Type



Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, Policy Analysis and Management, College of Human Ecology



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Kayla Kirchner Malone


Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal

Speaker Affiliation

Kaiser Health News

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