Maggie Mahar: Wiki (by Rachel Seidman)

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Maggie Mahar is a
renowned journalist who has chronicled events in both the financial and health
care worlds.  Her current projects are Health
(a Century Foundation blog covering current US
health issues) and the documentary, Money
Driven Medicine



  1. Education

  2. Financial Journalism
  3. The Century Foundation
  4. Health Beat
  5. Books
  6. Documentaries
  7. References
  8. External Links



Maggie Mahar attended
Yale University and while there, earned an English B.A. and
Ph.D.  Mahar then went on to be a member
of Yale’s English department[1]. 



Upon leaving Yale,
Mahar entered the rigorous world of financial journalism.  At Barron’s Mahar served as a
senior writer and then rose through the ranks to become senior editor from
1980s to the 1990s[2].  While at Barron’s, Mahar reported on topics
such as: Wall Street, Washington,
and foreign markets.  Her article, The
New Florida
shows how she can take finance and make it personal.  Upon leaving Barron’s, Mahar lent her expertise to Bloomberg,
covering international markets and economics[3]. 


The Century

Mahar currently works
for The Century Foundation.  
The goal of the organization is to
“explain and analyze public issues in plain language, provide facts and
opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of different policy strategies, and
develop and call attention to distinctive ideas that can work.”[4]  Mahar writes for the health care section
of the foundation, which discusses health care reforms in depth.  The page also has upcoming events,
publications, and a message board.


Health Beat

Mahar’s blog, Health Beat, is a labor of love.  It takes the author about two to three days
to complete a post.  Mahar’s posts are not
simple or short; instead, they are rather long essays that are often
accompanied by statistics and graphs (see this post for
an example)[5].  Her goal was to reach an audience who already
had some knowledge about health care. 
Mahar feels very strongly that a blog should be dynamic, which means the
“comments section” is vital.  At Health Beat, readers comment on her
posts and to one another.  These comments
will hopefully develop into a conversation which helps everyone learn more
about the topic[6].  In order to learn more about Mahar’s blog
please see my previous post. 



Mahar has published
two books: Bull!
and Money
Driven Medicine
both of which were published by HarperCollins
Publishers (which is where I intern).  Bull! is a great piece of financial
journalism.  The book is about the Great
Bull Market of 1982-1999 and provides reader with not only a financial history,
but a detailed portrait of the main investors of the time[7].  A review of the book by Paul Krugman, an
opinion writer at The New York Times, can
be found here.  Money
Driven Medicine
discusses the $2 trillion dollar health care industry and
how money is maneuvered and wasted throughout it[8]. 



Mahar is currently
expanding her resume even farther.  She
is in the process of creating a documentary based on her book, Money Driven Medicine, with the help of Alex Gibney (who produced Taxi to the Dark Side
and Enron: The Smartest Guys in
the Room
).  The documentary
centers on health care in
Nashville, TN and should air on television sometime this
fall.  Nashville is mecca of health care corporations, yet its
residents receive very poor health care. 
The film examines the tangled web of how medicine became business
based.  As corporations started
controlling the health care business in the 1980s, their top priority became
making a profit for shareholders.  The
film argues that corporations have created an unstoppable push for profit,
which is making health care unaffordable. 
By participating in this project Mahar has come to understand both the
workings of writing and filmmaking, stating that “the difference between film
and writing is enormous.  In writing you
start big and whittle down in a linear fashion. 
In filmmaking there is no linear fashion, instead you concentrate on
making people respond visually and emotionally.”[9]




[6] Mahar’s guest lecture.  October 2, 2008. 
Duke in NYC: Arts and Media Program.

Bronfman Center for Jewish Life.

[9]Mahar’s guest lecture.  October 2, 2008. 
Duke in NYC: Arts and Media Program.

Bronfman Center for Jewish Life.


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