Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Mark Husbands

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Inequality is one of the most significant issues facing contemporary society. This is evident upon a close examination of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Health Data report “U.S. Health Care System from an International Perspective”. This report documents a number of critical deficits with respect to accessibility and quality of health care in the United States compared to the other 33 member nations in the OECD study. The U.S. spends over two and a half times more than the majority of developed countries while providing significantly fewer physicians, hospital beds, and a slower increase in life-expectancy per person than most other OECD countries. The findings of the OECD report raise normative claims regarding public health policy and the delivery of medical care in the U.S. We maintain that nations have the moral responsibility to provide "just care" for the marginalized, poor, indigent, and undocumented persons. Such care follows from a number of basic claims about the nature of health care, the dignity of persons, and the moral/social fabric of a nation. These claims are undermined by the pursuit of profit leading to the disparity in health care. The existence of health care organizations that succeed in providing “just care” demonstrates that such care is both achievable and represents a positive alternative to the dominant for-profit model of health care delivery. In fact, such work begs the question of equity and justice. A nation that spends $8,233 per capita per year on health care owes its citizens and non-documented workers greater accessibility and a higher quality of care than is currently provided.