Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration and Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago and a nonresident Fellow of the Century Foundation.

Recent Articles

TAINTED BLOOD, MISTAKES BY A FUTURE CHIEF JUSTICE, AND THE MARGINALIZATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

by Harold Pollack I published a piece in the New Republic today examining America’s failures in HIV prevention. AIDS has already killed more Americans than the combined total of combat deaths in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Despite treatment advances, the deaths keep coming. In 2006, the most recent year with good records, we lost 14,627 of our fellow citizens to this terrible disease. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if our government, our most heavily affected communities, and our entire society had mobilized more quickly and more effectively. From the very beginning, social conservatives often showed palpable disregard for the main victims of this epidemic. So it is easy to chalk up our failures to the simple cruelty of social conservatives. Such cruelty was certainly terrible, but it was not the only problem. Our continuing failure to execute public health interventions was also lethal. Public health is almost always treated as the disfavored...

A DASH OF PUBLIC HEALTH WITH MY HEALTHCARE REFORM, PLEASE?

by Harold Pollack “Health reform” was the key domestic policy issue of the Democratic primaries. It may yet become a central issue of the fall campaign. Everyone favors it, partly because we are all talking about different things. I could shingle my roof with the various proposals, webcast invitations, and advocacy group briefs that reach my inbox every day. As I open the attachments, it becomes clear that health reform includes at least seven really important things: 1. Protecting everyone from the financial consequences of illness and medical care itself. 2. Expanding social provision in America. 3. Using healthcare to transfer in-kind resources down the income scale. 4. Controlling public and private health expenditures. 5. Improving care quality and cost-effectiveness. Less often, someone sends an email about two other, readily neglected subjects intimately affected by health reform: 6. Providing stable financing for state and local governments now reeling under Medicaid and...

HEALTHCARE GUARANTEED: THE BEST (UNINTENTIONAL) BRIEF FOR A SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH PLAN.

Ezra left big sneakers to fill. This is my inaugural posting. By way of introduction, I am a public health and social policy researcher at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. I review the book, Healthcare, Guaranteed , by Ezekiel Emanuel. Ezra has already discussed it in a few previous posts. I give a different take. Like his brothers, Hollywood agent Ari and Illinois Congressman Rahm, Zeke Emanuel is an ambitious, peripatetic figure at the top of a difficult profession. A breast oncologist who chairs the Department of Bioethics at the Clinical Center of NIH, he combines clinical intelligence and ethical sensitivity with policy insight. Healthcare, guaranteed, a long collaboration with Stanford economist Victor Fuchs. Fuchs is arguably the founder of modern health economics. The book largely reflects their joint work. Emanuel has been traveling the country presented his plan in bravura fashion. Under their plan, every American would effectively receive a...

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