In this article in Nonprofit Quarterly, Ben Palmquist traces the root causes of health injustices to three ways that public policy have designed and privatized the health care system. For decades, health policy has promoted private profits rather than human health, shifted decision-making power away from patients, nurses, doctors, and the public to health care corporations and been driven by false racist, classist and heteropatriarchal notions that some people are less “deserving” of health care than others. As Ben shows, these are not natural nor inevitable phenomena, but policy choices—choices that do enormous harm to public health and to millions of people every year. But in that same realization, there’s hope, for if policymakers have chosen to construct an inequitable, privatized health care system, then it’s within our collective power to make different choices, ones that guarantee health care as a fundamental human right to everybody. And while big federal legislation like Medicare for All is a critical part of the puzzle, there are all sorts of ways that people can take action immediately within nonprofits, philanthropy, grassroots organizations and all sorts of other institutions and spaces to rebalance power and advance equity in the health care system and the rest of the economy.
The full article is available on Nonprofit Quarterly’s website.
(Banner art by Stephen Remick.)