HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future

Scott Burris (Temple University), Lance Gable (Wayne State University), Donna Levin, Wendy E. Parmet (Northeastern University), Nicolas Terry (Indiana University), COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future, SSRN:

This Report, including 39 chapters by more than 50 experts, updates and expands the initial rapid COVID-19 legal assessment published in August 2020. The failures we noted in the first Report have only worsened, culminating in the sad moment in February when the country reached 500,000 deaths. For Volume II of the Report, our team has revisited the legal issues we first surveyed early in the pandemic, and have added new topics, including education, data systems, and the lessons of the 2020 pandemic election. Even for the subjects covered previously, this Report consists of largely new material, including new, post-election recommendations, which we highlight in this summary. Volume I confronted a historic failure of law and policy. Volume II points to a historic opportunity to remake our institutions, public and clinical health law and policy, and the social contract. Once again, we have asked our authors to focus on how law has served the nation’s response to COVID-19, and to offer concrete suggestions for immediate and long-term changes to better serve the health of the nation. Each of the six sections of the Report addresses a big question: 1. How can government power best be used to prevent and control pandemics like COVID-19? 2. How can law help best harness the power and overcome the limitations of a divided system of federal, state, and local governments? 3. What reforms are needed to get high quality, affordable health care to everyone during the pandemic and beyond? 4. What can law do to help ensure access to essential medicines and medical supplies? 5. What legal steps are needed to protect American workers and their families from COVID-19 and its economic side effects? 6. Finally, and most importantly, what must be done through law to knock down the structures of racism and inequality that produce health inequity now, and prevent the American people from working together for health and prosperity in the future? This Report offers more than 100 specific legal recommendations for the president and Congress, governors and state legislatures, and mayors and city councilors across the country.

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