9780789001498 / 0789001497

Health and Poverty


Publisher:Routledge, 1997



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About the book:

Unequal social and health care policies in the United States continue to keep the poor disempowered in situations that not only limit their access to health care services, but also the quality of care they receive. An overview of health policies in the U.S., Health and Poverty examines where gaps in social and health care policies exist at the federal, state, and municipal levels; the impact of economic recessions on health care; and how our health policies are inextricably linked with political agendas, economic priorities, and social and cultural values.

In an attempt to bridge issues of health, such as health care and administration costs, with issues of social and health policy related to poverty in America, this important book explores the need to make fundamental change to the structure of the medical and health care system. It contends that the incremental modifications our government has taken have not changed regional and economic disparity, granted equal access to services or equal quality of care, or eliminated discrimination. Providing the political and economic context for understanding health care policy issues and concerns related to the poor, Health and Poverty discusses:
  • services and programs that achieve more humane outcomes
  • why our cultural values present the greatest challenge toward developing competent, accessible, and affordable health care for all U.S. residents
  • barriers to health care for the homeless population with HIV
  • patient dumping
  • how many African-American infants and children lack access to primary care physicians or services
  • how the U.S. focuses on who receives medical care, rather than on how medical care is delivered and received
  • trends in statesMedicaid programs
  • the impact of poor working conditions on the physical and emotional health of low-income minority populations

    As Health and Poverty demonstrates, universal health care can only become a reality in the U.S. when reform proposals that divide the public into the deserving and the undeserving are rejected. Health care is not a privilege, reserved for the middle class and the wealthy. It is a basic human right. Social workers, policymakers, health care educators and providers, and public administrators need to read this book to find out how that right can be guaranteed to all Americans and why current legislation and health care reform proposals are inadequate for meeting the health care needs of countless men, women, and children.

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