Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor:
Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA;
Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia
Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.
The United States may be the wealthiest nation, but its citizens are
far from enjoying the best health status. Compared with persons in advanced
industrial nations with comparable socioeconomic systems, Americans rank near
the bottom in life expectancy, neonatal and infant mortality, low birth weight,
and years of potential life lost.
America’s health woes come from three interrelated trends: growing
income inequality, high poverty rates, and inadequate health care coverage.
These trends are the results of the long-term corrosive effects of market
ideology and government stalemate or inaction, which have proved a powerful
obstacle to effective, egalitarian solutions. While the European and Canadian
governments have adopted policies on social welfare, labor, and taxation to
mitigate these trends and the associated erosion of health, the United States
remains deficient in these attributes. To build a healthier, wealthier, and
fairer society, the United States must insure health care, expand education,
and protect workers’ wages. These are the major themes raised in Healthy, Wealthy, and Fair: Health Care and the Good Society.
Shi L. Health Care. JAMA. 2005;294(13):1700-1701. doi:10.1001/jama.294.13.1700