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Daniel Dawes Discusses His Just-Published, "The Political Determinants of Health" (March 25th)

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It is altogether appropriate to discuss the political determinants of health since this past Monday we marked the ten year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   The law was intended, in part, to reduce health inequities.  Research published earlier this month in Health Affairs concluded, “the ACA produced broad gains in insurance coverage,” and “that coverage increased most among groups whose members were mostly likely uninsured before the reforms,” i.e., racial and ethnic minority groups.   We would do well to remember the 19th century German physician Rudolph Virchow whom argued, we should think of medicine as a social science - meaning medical care requires collective action to address social inequality’s contribution to ill health.  (Concerning social inequities, I encourage listeners will to listen to my March 10th conversation with the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities' Mr. Joseph Llobrera regarding the administration's treatment of SNAP.)

During this 33 minute conversation, Daniel Dawes begins by providing historical context, i.e., early efforts in our nation's history to address population health and health inequities, e.g., creation of the (short lived) Freeman's Bureau in 1864.  He identifies and discusses three over-arching political determinants of health, possible reasons why the ACA (and again its health inequity provisions) have been so polarizing and current progress in political determinants addressing inequities, e.g., as related to the climate crisis.      

Mr. Daniel Dawes is the Director of the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute and Associate Lead for Government Relations.   Among previous Danieldawes-685x1024positions he founded and chaired the advocacy group, the National Working Group on Health Disparities and Health Reform and was the co-founder of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN).  He has worked to shape federal health equity policies including the Mental Health Parity Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Affordable Care Act.  He is the author of the 2017 work, 150 Years of Obamacare.  He is an elected fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and has served on several boards, commissions, and councils focused on improving health outcomes and elevating health equity in the United States.  He is an adviser to international, national, regional, state, and municipal policymakers, as well as think tanks, associations, foundations, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.  Mr. Dawes obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska. 

For more information on The Political Determinants of Health go to: https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/political-determinants-health


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