America may be one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but its citizens rank near the bottom in health status. Americans have lower life expectancy, more infant mortalities and higher adolescent death rates than most other advanced industrial nations-and even some developing countries. Though Americans are famous for tolerating great inequality in wealth, the gross inequities in the health system are less well recognized. In Healthy, Wealthy and Fair, a distinguished group of health policy experts chart the stark disparities in health and wealth in the United States. The authors explain how the inequities arise, why they persist, and what makes them worse. Growing income inequality, high poverty rates, and inadequate health care coverage: all three trends help account for the U.S.'s health troubles. The corrosive effects of market ideology and government stalemate, the contributors argue, have also proved a powerful obstacle to effective and more egalitarian solutions.
A clarion call for a populist uprising to end the stalemate over health reform, Healthy, Wealthy, and Fair outlines concrete policy proposals for reform-tapping bold new ideas as well as incremental changes to existing programs. This important work will be indispensable to all those who care about our people's health, inequality, and American democracy.