Tip Sheets

Health reform reading list

Note from health reform topic leader Joanne Kenen: Most of these books I’ve read all or part of. A few are new and I haven’t gotten to them yet, and a handful I’m relying on recommendations of others. Disclosure: I know a lot of these authors – friends, colleagues, sources, AHCJ members, even a former professor or two. Finally, there are more books aimed at explaining the new law or providing historical context than there are on how to dismantle or replace it – partly because there’s a larger crop of such books to choose from, and partly because it’s more relevant to this website. But the conservative viewpoint is represented.


Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works,” by Jonathan Gruber (comic book)

Landmark: The Inside Story of America's New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All,” by staff of The Washington Post. Read a Q&A with two of the authors about this book.

The New Health Care System: Everything You Need to Know,” by David Nather

Inside National Health Reform,” by John E. McDonough

"Health Care Reform Simplified: Guide Your Family and Your Business through Health Care Reform," by Dave Parks


Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform,” by Paul Starr

The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office,” by David Blumenthal  and James Morone 

Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know,” by Lawrence Jacobs and Theda Skocpol

Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle,” by Stuart H. Altman

The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry,” by Paul Starr

Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis – and the People Who Pay the Price,” by Jonathan Cohn. Read a Q&A with the author about the book.


Why ObamaCare is Wrong for America: How the New Health Care Law Drives Up Costs, Puts Government in Charge of Your Decisions, and Threatens Your Constitutional Rights,”  by Grace-Marie Turner, James C. Capretta, Thomas P. Miller, Robert E. Moffit  

Who Killed Health Care?: America's $2 Trillion Medical Problem - and the Consumer-Driven Cure,” by Regina Herzlinger  

Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It,” by Michael F. Cannon and Michael D. Tanner

The Truth About Obamacare,” by Sally C. Pipes 


Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health,” by H. Gilbert Welch , Lisa Schwartz  Steve Woloshin (Dartmouth team)

Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer,” by Shannon Brownlee. Read a Q&A with the author about this book.

How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America,” by Otis Webb Brawley, M.D. with Paul Goldberg


The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care,” by T. R. Reid