4132.0 Deregulation Disasters and Subprime Public health: Swine flu and deregulation in food, water, healthcare and banking

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:30 AM
Government regulation of food, water, medications and health delivery were hallmarks of public health and other reform movements in the early 20th century that tried to put limits on the power of corporations to risk public health and safety in their pursuit of private profit. Similarly, banking regulations were introduced by the “New Deal” during the 1930’s in response to abuses in banking and home financing that contributed to the stock market crash, and widespread unemployment and foreclosures of the Great Depression. In the decades that followed, consolidation of agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and giant financial institutions led to an enormous concentration of power that eroded or did away with many of these key regulations, culminating in a free market frenzy of “capital-gone-wild.” Increased incidents of food contamination and the degradation or privatization and bottling of public water have become worldwide phenomena. Pharmaceuticals and insurance companies have manipulated or gutted regulations, keeping health costs highs while blocking progress towards a national single payer plan. And the deregulation of the banking system fueled the sub-prime loan crisis that has triggered the worst world-wide economic crisis since the Great Depression. Suspicions that the latest swine flu outbreak was linked to an unregulated industrial hog farm spawned by NAFTA underscores how dangerous deregulation in the areas of food, water, health and banking can be to public health. The panel will address why stronger regulations are necessary but not sufficient to resolve the systemic problems.
Session Objectives: 1) Describe how deregulation and inadequate regulation of water, health care, food and banking have threatened public health 2) Analyze how corporate private profit interests have trumped public health by undermining or preventing effective regulation 3) Discuss why effective government regulations are necessary but not sufficient to protect public health from the onslaught of global capitalism
Hillel W. Cohen, MPH, DrPH
Donna Barry, NP MPH , Laura Turiano, MS, PA-C and Clyde L. Smith, MD, MPH, DTM&H

10:30 AM
Water profiteering
Donna Barry, NP MPH
11:30 AM
Subprime public health
Hillel W. Cohen, MPH, DrPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Socialist Caucus
Endorsed by: Ethics SPIG, Vietnam Caucus, Trade and Health Forum

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

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