Thom Hartmann, "The Hidden History of American Healthcare: Why Sickness Bankrupts You and Makes Others Insanely Rich" (Berrett-Koehler, 2021)


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Today I talked to Thom Hartmann about his new book The Hidden History of American Healthcare: Why Sickness Bankrupts You and Makes Others Insanely Rich (Berrett-Koehler, 2021).

To hear Thom Hartmann tell it, the battle over whether healthcare should be seen as a right or a privilege has two phases in American history. From the 1880’s to the 1980’s the idea of universal American healthcare was opposed due to racist bias, i.e., to provide it would favor aiding African-Americans, too. Then from the Reagan Revolution to today, greed has taken over because the current system favors industry insiders benefitting while the average American pays more for less than is true elsewhere in the so-called Developed World. Get ready for plenty of surprises here, starting with the fact that the debate about healthcare got launched by three Germans: Karl Marx, Otto von Bismarck, and a person named Frederick Ludwig Hoffman. Never heard of the third guy? Well, at a time when Prudential Insurance was the biggest player in its sector Hoffman provided the platform for denying the healthcare that Bismarck had decided was a way to counter the appeal of Marxism.

Thom Hartmann is a four-time winner of the Project Censored Award, a New York Times bestselling authority of 32 books, and America’s #1 progressive talk radio show host.

Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of nine books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. ( His new book is Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Politics. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit

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