Health & Politics: the health effects of uncertain times in the U.S.

Health Effects of Dramatic Societal Events — Ramifications of the Recent Presidential Election
David R. Williams, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Morgan M. Medlock, M.D., M.Div.

This article explores the pathways through which stressful societal events (such as presidential elections) may result in negative psycho-social and physiological consequences for vulnerable — and sometimes targeted, —  populations due to the correlated or ensuing feelings of discrimination and prejudice. The authors offer suggestions for how healthcare providers can respond to such events.

America: equity and equality in health
Editorial, The Lancet

The Lancet publishes a new Series about US health and health care, which highlights how widening gaps of income inequality are driving increases in health inequity. Other contributory factors, including mass incarceration and structural racism, are evaluated, as is the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The Series warns of a 21st century health-poverty trap unless new interventions are implemented.”

Social justice should be a key part of educating health professionals
By Michael Westerhaus, Amy Finnegan, Jennifer Goldsmith, Evan Lyon, Casey Fox, and Michelle Morse

The authors highlight the importance of considering social determinants of health in U.S. healthcare reform, as they significantly contribute to health disparities. Using liberation theology’s “preferential option for the poor” framework, the authors urge healthcare providers to offer the best healthcare options for populations who are most vulnerable to the negative health effects of unjust social systems.