CHAPTER 3

Taxation Without Representation

In 2018, NBC launched the medical drama New Amsterdam as part of its fall lineup. Its provocative tagline—“Break the Rules. Heal the System.”—captures the anger and determination of passionate clinicians working against the Healthcare Industrial Complex (the System) to meet patients’ needs.

The show originates from the book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer, who served as chief medical officer at the nation’s oldest public hospital. When Manheimer started as Bellevue’s CMO in 1997, he carried a notebook to record patient stories. Many of them, including his own battle with cancer, are remarkable, frustrating, inspiring, and depressing.

Manheimer’s inquiries went beyond ...

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