In this election year, health care again proves to be one of our nation’s most urgent issues. Daniels, Kennedy, and Kawachi shift the focus of the debate, forcing us to take a closer look at how our health is affected by social injustice and inequality. Arguing that it isn’t enough to increase access to doctors, they call for improving social conditions-such as poverty, lack of education and affordable housing, and harmful work environments-that damage our health. By urging us to work toward equality of opportunity for all, the authors situate health care reform among the larger social problems we must face.
The authors’ argument for reform in early childhood development, nutrition, work environment, and distribution of income is certain to spark debate. The editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and World Health Organization officials respond.
The New Democracy Forum is a series of short paperback originals exploring creative solutions to our most urgent national concerns. The series editors (for Boston Review), Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers, aim to foster politically engaged, intellectually honest, and morally serious debate about fundamental issues-both on and off the agenda of conventional politics.
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“The New Democracy Forum series is a civic treasure. . . . A truly good idea, carried out with intelligence and panache.” —Robert Pinsky