Sick & Tired

March 08, 2010

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.