Foreword: On the cusp: Insight and perspectives on health reform

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Winter 2008


Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics


Volume 36, Issue 4

Inclusive Pages



Health Care Reform--legislation & jurisprudence; Insurance, Health; Health Care Costs; Access to Health Care; Health Reform


As we write this foreword in the summer of 2008, we anticipate an election that will live up to its promise: a violent storm bringing gusting winds, shifting rains, a degree of hysteria- and then clear skies. A new president will take office in January 2009 with no legacy to protect and the ability to recast the American image unlike any president in recent history. Where health refrom is concerned, the opportunity for fundamental change is especially strong. Among wealthy industrialized democracies, the U.S. stands alone in having failed to claim some level of control, as a matter of national policy, over the twin problems of health care cost and coverage, in order to ahcieve greater stability, universality, equity, and control over a social investment of incalculable value. Only in the U.S. do place of residence, the nature of one's work, and family composition and weatlh essentially determine whether people will have health insurance, the single most important determinant of access to health care.

Peer Reviewed