Out of the Ooze: The Story of Dr. Tom Price

Written by Alexander Zaitchik

The U.S. healthcare system is the outlier of the developed world: immoral, inefficient, expensive, and corrupt as hell. This system has survived into the present day thanks in large part to a century of organized medical-industry reaction epitomized by Dr. Tom Price, the surgeon-businessman-politician presently serving Donald Trump as the secretary of Health and Human Services. The story of this man’s rise out of Atlanta’s suburbs — a rise built on far-right ideology and market fundamentalism, rank greed and breathtaking cruelty — is also the story, and the ultimate condemnation, of our nation’s larger failure to provide healthcare as a right to all Americans.
In Out of the Ooze, journalist Alexander Zaitchik (author of Common Nonsense and The Gilded Rage) sketches the arc of Price’s career, from his days as a young flack for the American Medical Association barnstorming Georgia in opposition to the Clinton reform push of 1993; to his years on the Ways and Means Committee, when he brazenly traded $300,000 worth of healthcare-related stocks while lobbying on behalf of those same companies; to his current position at the apex of healthcare policy and GOP strategy to roll back the moderate reforms of the previous administration. The result is a taut argument for both the criminal investigation of Tom Price and a radical overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system he now oversees.