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Commentary
March 18, 2009

Social Policy as Health Policy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Human Needs, Richmond.

JAMA. 2009;301(11):1166-1169. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.320

What health professionals might call social issues—eg, the economy, jobs, education—now dominate the national agenda. Families, businesses, and government are confronting a recession, unstable financial markets, unemployment, a housing crisis, environmental challenges, and other global threats. Sweeping corrective measures are under way to restore economic stability, maintain public services, and promote student and workforce education. Rarely, however, do proponents of these efforts note their connection to health, a nexus that is rarely their first concern or within their expertise.

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