The fourth event in our “Political Economy of Care” series, hosted jointly with the Global Justice Health Partnership (GHJP).
Decades of austerity and market-based solutions have delivered us a rapaciously profit-driven health care system and weak systems for community and public health, as well as social welfare and labor and community power. 27.5 million people living in the US remain without health insurance. And the health insurance system we have is both costlier and less effective than systems in other wealthy countries, ostensibly to maximize “choice” regarding insurance decisions, though this choice is in fact illusory.
How might we rebuild a vision of healthcare that transcends market-based or “neoliberal” logics, and addresses inequities at the root by providing universal care, empowering communities, and acknowledging the inevitability of the need for political regulation of healthcare? What broader changes, for example in our welfare state and organizing strategies might be needed to ensure that we provide people with the structural preconditions for health, rather than simply equating health with healthcare? How might we redefine care as a political issue such that it is seen as a civic responsibility? And what are the concrete steps to building a new infrastructure of care that allows us to better protect the most vulnerable?
In this panel, leading scholars of the construction of social and health insurance across the US and Europe will explore how the political framing of health limits public perception of available solutions to social inequality and the care crisis. They will connect these more abstract ideas to the concrete failures of our healthcare system in the US. Finally, they will discuss how we might move beyond the current, consumer-focused – but also inefficient and inequitable – healthcare system in the US, and construct healthcare systems that decommodify health.
moderated by Amy Kapczynski