HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Social Determinants of Health

Gail Wilensky, former administrator of  the Health Care Financing Administration, during the presidency of
George H.W. Bush, and David Satcher, former surgeon general and assistant secretary of health during the presidency of Bill Clinton, have a piece in Health Affairs discussing improving health care provided to children - with a focus on social issues.   Here is the abstract:

The Obama administration faces daunting challenges to reform health care. 
The authors, commissioners on the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social
Determinants of Health, believe that strategies to improve health by affecting the social determinants  may gain bipartisan support. These determinants—including the effects of poverty,
education, the treatment of women, employment opportunities, and limited access to
medical care for some—are as important in promoting health, if not more so, than the direct
medical determinants of health. Focusing on these determinants makes more sense than
waiting until people become sick and seek care, and it often costs much less.

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