100 books like Priced Out

By Uwe E. Reinhardt,

Here are 100 books that Priced Out fans have personally recommended if you like Priced Out. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism

Troy Tassier Author Of The Rich Flee and the Poor Take the Bus: How Our Unequal Society Fails Us During Outbreaks

From my list on connecting poor health and poverty.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in rural northern Michigan. My family lived in comfort, never lacking essentials. Yet, many of those living around me had difficulty making ends meet. Many lacked health insurance and year-round jobs. As a child, I viewed my community as normal and typical of the American experience. In many ways, it was–in part, that is the point of this list. At the time, I didn’t know that we could do better for those around me who worked so hard daily. Now I do. I selected these books to highlight the vast disparities between those with and without the comfort and luxury of good health.    

Troy's book list on connecting poor health and poverty

Troy Tassier Why did Troy love this book?

Life expectancy among the working-class population in the United States was decreasing at an astounding rate well before the Covid-19 pandemic. While I was aware of growing inequality and decreasing access to health care for many, I didn’t realize how desperate the conditions of life seemed for many working-class Americans.

This book forced me to confront the uncomfortable reality of the health crisis among the many blue-collar workers living in the heartland of America.  

By Anne Case, Angus Deaton,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller
A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of 2020
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year
A New Statesman Book to Read

From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, a groundbreaking account of how the flaws in capitalism are fatal for America's working class

Life expectancy in the United States has recently fallen for three years in a row-a reversal not seen since 1918 or in any other wealthy nation in modern times. In the…


Book cover of That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour

Sylvester J. Schieber Author Of Healthcare USA: American Exceptionalism Run Amok

From my list on why healthcare is a cancer on the American Dream.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent nearly 30 years consulting with employers about the design and operation of the health insurance and retirement benefits they provided their workers. In my work, I was familiar with economic studies showing that workers’ wages and salaries have been increasingly skewed toward higher earners and was convinced the results were less pronounced for workers' total rewards.. In developing my analysis I came to understand that the cost of employees’ health insurance was consuming a large share of workers’ growing rewards. This led me to explore how the US health system was imposing much higher costs on workers than any other segment of society and how we might address the problem.

Sylvester's book list on why healthcare is a cancer on the American Dream

Sylvester J. Schieber Why did Sylvester love this book?

Dr. Puri is a specialist in palliative care for patients with terminal conditions.

She describes the challenges she has encountered during her medical training and practice in dealing with a medical establishment committed to intensive care even in the face of insurmountable odds that such care will improve patients’ health or quality of life.

She also describes encounters with patients’ families who demand intensive medical treatment and are unwilling to allow patients to transition peacefully through the end of life. Often the demand for intensive care is made without the desires of the patient being considered.

This is a poignant set of stories showing that intensive care in what is often the most expensive medical cases exact a price far higher than the dollars involved in the transaction.

By Sunita Puri,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked That Good Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A profound exploration of what it means for all of us to live-and to die-with dignity and purpose." -People

"Visceral and lyrical." -The Atlantic

As the American born daughter of immigrants, Dr. Sunita Puri knew from a young age that the gulf between her parents' experiences and her own was impossible to bridge, save for two elements: medicine and spirituality. Between days spent waiting for her mother, an anesthesiologist, to exit the OR, and evenings spent in conversation with her parents about their faith, Puri witnessed the tension between medicine's impulse to preserve life at all costs and a spiritual…


Book cover of Tracking Medicine: A Researcher's Quest to Understand Health Care

Sylvester J. Schieber Author Of Healthcare USA: American Exceptionalism Run Amok

From my list on why healthcare is a cancer on the American Dream.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent nearly 30 years consulting with employers about the design and operation of the health insurance and retirement benefits they provided their workers. In my work, I was familiar with economic studies showing that workers’ wages and salaries have been increasingly skewed toward higher earners and was convinced the results were less pronounced for workers' total rewards.. In developing my analysis I came to understand that the cost of employees’ health insurance was consuming a large share of workers’ growing rewards. This led me to explore how the US health system was imposing much higher costs on workers than any other segment of society and how we might address the problem.

Sylvester's book list on why healthcare is a cancer on the American Dream

Sylvester J. Schieber Why did Sylvester love this book?

John Wennberg is a medical doctor and researcher who has spent much of the last half century analyzing the practice of medicine across the United States.

He has used Medicare patients’ treatment records to show that health delivery is often more dependent on the supply of providers and facilities in an area than the expected demand for such treatment of the area population.

He and his associates have also shown that more intensive treatment generally does not result in better care and sometimes leads to more adverse outcomes.

By John E. Wennberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tracking Medicine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by a groundbreaking figure of modern medical study, Tracking Medicine is an eye-opening introduction to the science of health care delivery, as well as a powerful argument for its relevance in shaping the future of our country. An indispensable resource for those involved in public health and health policy, this book uses Dr. Wennberg's pioneering research to provide a framework for understanding the health care crisis; and outlines a roadmap for
real change in the future. It is also a useful tool for anyone interested in understanding and forming their own opinion on the current debate.


Book cover of Ending Medical Reversal: Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives

Sylvester J. Schieber Author Of Healthcare USA: American Exceptionalism Run Amok

From my list on why healthcare is a cancer on the American Dream.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent nearly 30 years consulting with employers about the design and operation of the health insurance and retirement benefits they provided their workers. In my work, I was familiar with economic studies showing that workers’ wages and salaries have been increasingly skewed toward higher earners and was convinced the results were less pronounced for workers' total rewards.. In developing my analysis I came to understand that the cost of employees’ health insurance was consuming a large share of workers’ growing rewards. This led me to explore how the US health system was imposing much higher costs on workers than any other segment of society and how we might address the problem.

Sylvester's book list on why healthcare is a cancer on the American Dream

Sylvester J. Schieber Why did Sylvester love this book?

These medical doctors explore the introduction of new medical practices that are subsequently shown to be of no value to patients or even harmful.

Prasad and Cifu report on a variety of procedures and practices often used widely that have been proven ineffective. They review 10 years of a prominent medical journal's articles reporting the results of efficacy studies of existing and new practices.

Of 363 articles reporting on the results of studies on existing practices, 40.2 percent indicated the practice of no value or harmful to the patients and another 21.8 percent were inconclusive on whether the practice was beneficial or not.

In looking at 981 articles on studies of new practices, 16.8 percent found the practice of no benefit or harmful and another 6.1 percent were inconclusive.

In the latter sections of their discussion, they describe ways to address the prevalence of what they call “medical reversals.”

By Vinayak K. Prasad, Adam S. Cifu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ending Medical Reversal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why medicine adopts ineffective or harmful medical practices only to abandon them-sometimes too late.

Medications such as Vioxx and procedures such as vertebroplasty for back pain are among the medical "advances" that turned out to be dangerous or useless. What Dr. Vinayak K. Prasad and Dr. Adam S. Cifu call medical reversal happens when doctors start using a medication, procedure, or diagnostic tool without a robust evidence base-and then stop using it when it is found not to help, or even to harm, patients.

In Ending Medical Reversal, Drs. Prasad and Cifu narrate fascinating stories from every corner of medicine…


Book cover of A Breast Cancer Alphabet

Devesh Dahale Author Of The 5000th Baby: A Parent's Perspective and Journey through the First Year of Life

From my list on patient/family experience in healthcare.

Why am I passionate about this?

Life caught me by surprise when our youngest son was born with a birth defect that launched our family into the world of surgeries, and treatments. After experiencing the management of chronic care for our child firsthand, I realized how important it is to share personal stories and experiences. It enables empathy and a deeper understanding and appreciation of what patients and families go through. Autobiographical accounts of patients and families are still very limited. We need more people to come forward and share their own patient/family experiences in order to promote the betterment of healthcare and healing through relating with others and learning from others’ experiences.


Devesh's book list on patient/family experience in healthcare

Devesh Dahale Why did Devesh love this book?

Breast cancer has become ubiquitously one of the most common and dreaded cancers among women. Through this book, the author authentically and innovatively advocates for patients like her, who are diagnosed with breast cancer. She describes her journey in detail in an attempt to guide and advise others on how to deal with and manage life in the face of such a deadly diagnosis. While patients may be overwhelmed by the medical management aspects of the disease, the author reminds us to keep the human and psychological aspects in mind as a patient is after all a human being with emotions at the core.

By Madhulika Sikka,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Breast Cancer Alphabet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A definitive and approachable guide to life during, and after, breast cancer
 
The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman.  Madhulika Sikka's A Breast Cancer Alphabet offers a new way to live with and plan past the hardest diagnosis that most women will ever receive: a personal, practical, and deeply informative look at the road from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

What Madhulika Sikka didn't foresee when initially diagnosed, and what this book brings to life so vividly, are the unexpected and minute challenges that make navigating the world of breast cancer all the trickier.  A…


Book cover of The Quality Cure: How Focusing on Health Care Quality Can Save Your Life and Lower Spending Too

Joseph P. Newhouse Author Of Pricing the Priceless: A Health Care Conundrum

From my list on the economics and history of American health insurance.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mother wanted me to be a physician, but as a child I was very squeamish about human biology and knew that wasn't for me. In college I was exposed to economics and found it, and the policy debates about national health insurance, fascinating. So, maybe with my mother’s wishes in the back of my mind, I became a health economist. I was privileged to direct a large randomized trial called the RAND Health Insurance Experiment, which varied the cost of medical care to families. This project lasted more than a decade and got me so deep into the economics of health and medical care that I became a professor of health policy and management.


Joseph's book list on the economics and history of American health insurance

Joseph P. Newhouse Why did Joseph love this book?

Almost all Americans think the high cost of health care is a major problem and a large number think access to services is also a problem. 

Many, however, think that if a person has access to medical care and good insurance, quality of care is excellent. That’s sometimes true, but often not as this book describes.

By David Cutler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Quality Cure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the United States, the soaring cost of health care has become an economic drag and a political flashpoint. Moreover, although the country's medical spending is higher than that of any other nation, health outcomes are no better than elsewhere, and in some cases are even worse. In The Quality Cure, renowned health care economist and former Obama advisor David Cutler offers an accessible and incisive account of the issues and their causes, as well as a road map for the future of health care reform--one that shows how information technology, realigned payment systems, and value-focused organizations together have the…


Book cover of The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care--And How to Fix It

Hunter N. Schultz Author Of Expat Health Guide: Five steps to securing outstanding expat healthcare

From my list on being an expat taught me to loathe America’s healthcare.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born and raised in the Chicago area, I worked in the automotive industry as a car salesperson and racing team manager, financial services as a Registered Representative, and a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. An expat in Panama since 2004, I worked in business development for several healthcare products and co-founded an air medical transport service. Over the last decade, I’ve represented two businesses delivering protective medical care to high-net-worth individuals where I learned care’s gold standard from former White House physicians. My research included the books I recommend here and inspired me to write the Expat Health Guide for current and future expats. 

Hunter's book list on being an expat taught me to loathe America’s healthcare

Hunter N. Schultz Why did Hunter love this book?

Dr. Makary begins with an almost unreal story of a French citizen who had the unfortunate luck of having a heart attack in the US. I won’t give it away, but used car dealers come out smelling like roses, and I did that for a while, back in my youth. Such a lesson. Americans sorely need perspective on what great care is and how to pay for it. Dr. Makary does a fantastic job outlining two little-known middlemen sucking money out of American wallets. Pharmacy Benefit Managers, and Group Purchasing Organizations. Both use tactics that would make Tony Soprano smile.

What I love about this book, and why I recommend it, is while spotlighting problems, he offers solutions, and spotlights people making a difference.

By Marty Makary,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Price We Pay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A must-read for every American and business leader." --Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief, FORBES

From the New York Times bestselling author of Unaccountable comes an eye-opening, urgent look at America's broken health care system--and the people who are saving it.

One in five Americans now has medical debt in collections and rising health care costs today threaten every small business in America. Dr. Makary, one of the nation's leading health care experts, travels across America and details why health care has become a bubble. Drawing from on-the-ground stories, his research, and his own experience, The Price We Pay paints a vivid picture…


Book cover of Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win

Hunter N. Schultz Author Of Expat Health Guide: Five steps to securing outstanding expat healthcare

From my list on being an expat taught me to loathe America’s healthcare.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born and raised in the Chicago area, I worked in the automotive industry as a car salesperson and racing team manager, financial services as a Registered Representative, and a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. An expat in Panama since 2004, I worked in business development for several healthcare products and co-founded an air medical transport service. Over the last decade, I’ve represented two businesses delivering protective medical care to high-net-worth individuals where I learned care’s gold standard from former White House physicians. My research included the books I recommend here and inspired me to write the Expat Health Guide for current and future expats. 

Hunter's book list on being an expat taught me to loathe America’s healthcare

Hunter N. Schultz Why did Hunter love this book?

Ever hear of MLR or Medical Loss Ratio? I had, but it didn’t click why it was a cruel joke on American healthcare consumers until I read Marshall’s book. His give a kid a bowl of ice cream analogy is so spot on that I asked for and received his permission to quote it in my book. My dad used to say that a sure sign of genius is making a complex subject understandable to an eighth grader. Marshall’s a genius. His insights stem from over 15 years of investigative reporting on the healthcare industry are critical to combatting a downright evil billing system. Whenever a friend mentions they’ve been in the hospital, or will be, I tell them to read this book. 

By Marshall Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Pay the First Bill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning ProPublica reporter Marshall Allen, a primer for anyone who wants to fight the predatory health care system--and win.

Every year, millions of Americans are overcharged and underserved while the health care industry makes record profits. We know something is wrong, but the layers of bureaucracy designed to discourage complaints make pushing back seem impossible. At least, this is what the health care power players want you to think.

Never Pay the First Bill is the guerilla guide to health care the American people and employers need. Drawing on 15 years of investigating the health care industry, reporter Marshall…


Book cover of Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy, and Childbirth

Anna Malaika Tubbs Author Of The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

From my list on Black motherhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anna Malaika Tubbs is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of MLK Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation. She is also a Cambridge Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and a Bill and Melinda Gates Cambridge Scholar. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a BA in Anthropology, Anna received a Master’s from the University of Cambridge in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies. Outside of the academy, she is an educator and DEI consultant. She lives with her husband, Michael Tubbs, and their son Michael Malakai.

Anna's book list on Black motherhood

Anna Malaika Tubbs Why did Anna love this book?

A crucial read not only for understanding the unique obstacles facing Black birthing parents but also for celebrating the work of organizers who have fought for our reproductive justice. This book explains how key moments in history have led to where we are today and fills gaps of understanding that many have when it comes to Black maternal health.

By Julia Oparah (editor), Alicia Bonaparte (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Birthing Justice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is a global crisis in maternal health care for black women. In the United States, black women are over three times more likely to perish from pregnancy-related complications than white women; their babies are half as likely to survive the first year. Many black women experience policing, coercion, and disempowerment during pregnancy and childbirth and are disconnected from alternative birthing traditions. This book places black women's voices at the center of the debate on what should be done to fix the broken maternity system and foregrounds black women's agency in the emerging birth justice movement. Mixing scholarly, activist, and…


Book cover of Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor

Beth Bacon Author Of Helping Our World Get Well: Covid Vaccines

From my list on for kids about COVID-19.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author of books for young readers. These days, there’s nothing more important than having conversations about the Coronavirus disease. It can be hard for grown-ups to start a conversation about Covid with their kids. But they can read a book about the subject and invite the kids to respond to what they heard and saw. My book COVID-19 Helpers was the first place winner of the Emery Global Health Institute’s e-book contest back in May 2020. Through the pandemic, I’ve been reading and talking about the virus with kids from around the world. If you're interested in having me read one of my books to your school, clinic, or your daycare center feel free to get in touch. 

Beth's book list on for kids about COVID-19

Beth Bacon Why did Beth love this book?

This picture book biography does so many things at once—and does it all with a masterful, lyrical storytelling voice. Of course, the primary thing this book does is tell the story of a real person’s life: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In this story, we learn about his ordinary childhood, his personal interests, and the ways his family inspired and encouraged him. It shows that even people we see on the news were once children, just like the kids reading this book. More than that, this book is a celebration of science and the excitement of scientific discoveries.

It reminds kids (and grown-ups) that science is a creative endeavour. So once the urgency of learning about the COVID virus wanes, this book will be still valuable as a primer on how scientists do their work. Additionally, though the narrative part of…

By Kate Messner, Alexandra Bye (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dr. Fauci as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

The definitive picture book biography of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the most crucial figures in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before he was Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci was a curious boy in Brooklyn, delivering prescriptions from his father's pharmacy on his blue Schwinn bicycle. His father and immigrant grandfather taught Anthony to ask questions, consider all the data, and never give up-and Anthony's ability to stay curious and to communicate with people would serve him his entire life.

This…


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