[Welcome author Helene Jorgensen, and Host Kris Newby, Senior Producer, Under Our Skin]

SICK AND TIRED: How the U.S. Health Care System Fails Its Patients

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 at risk. In Sick and Tired, Jorgensen takes a closer look at the institutional failures at every stage of the health care system, including diagnosis, treatment, insurance, and prescriptions. In her book, she offers practical guidelines for everyone on how to save money on health care costs, and how to get higher quality care from a broken system.

Sick and Tired, is also the perfect starter book for someone who’s recently been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an epidemic larger and more politicized than AIDS, yet, in order to get the most effective treatments, patients need to become proficient at navigating through obstacles related to insurance denials and medical dogma.

I’m excited to introduce Helene Jorgensen to the Firedoglake community, because I think her sage economic advice on health care can help all of us, and additionally, I’d like to hear her take on the controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. As the senior producer and researcher for the documentary, “UNDER OUR SKIN: An infectious film about microbes, money and medicine,” I’d like to hear an economist’s view on what went wrong with the discovery, definition, and writing of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Lyme medical guidelines, and what patients can do to get the care that they so desperately need.