Online Program

Right to health: The next American dream

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Dabney Evans, PhD, MPH, Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

The American Dream is a strongly held notion that permeates the American psyche. The subtext of the dream is the assumption of equal opportunity for education and the subsequent career opportunities that presumably follow. The archetype of the American Dream is the “self-made man” who through will and determination gains an education, career success and material wealth exemplified by home ownership. Human rights language would refer to these as the right to education, work, property and housing. US Constitutional law strongly protects civil and political rights. Yet US Federal law has come to protect some economic, social, and cultural rights such as education as part and parcel of the American Dream. Until the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) the right to health has been altogether excluded from both the notion of the American Dream as well as protection under US Federal law. This chapter provides an overview of the historical development of the American Dream, an examination of global health models and the US system more specifically. It also explores the ACA and the 2012 US Supreme Court ruling it as it relates to the international conceptualization of human right to heath specifically focusing on the human rights principles of accessibility and non-discrimination and how the ACA may contribute to an expanded notion of the American Dream including the right to health.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the concept of the American Dream. Compare global health care models to the US health care system. Identify human rights themes as they relate to the ACA. Describe the ways in which the ACA may contribute to an expanded notion of human rights in US health care policy.

Keyword(s): Human Rights, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: chair of the International Human Rights Committee
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.