Forum – November 21, 2019

Forum – November 21, 2019

Howard Waitzkin

Title: “Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health: Focus on the USA and Korea”

Presented by Howard Waitzkin
Fulbright Senior Scholar
University of New Mexico

**THURSDAY, November 21, 7:00 p.m.** at the Fulbright Building
Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 20

Abstract: These days, our health and well-being are sorted through a profit-seeking financial complex that monitors and commodifies our lives. In the United States and some other countries with capitalist political-economic systems, our access to competent, affordable health care grows more precarious every day. In contrast, the Republic of Korea, also with a capitalist political-economic system, has constructed a single payer national health program that aims to achieve universally accessible health care. A single payer national health program, known as “Improved Medicare for All,” similar to Korea’s current system, is gaining much wider support in the United States. We need a deeper understanding of the changing structural conditions that link capitalism, health care, and health. Recognizing that such linkages deserve closer study to assist in real-world struggles for change, Howard Waitzkin, in collaboration with the medical professionals, scholars, and activists who comprise the Working Group on Health Beyond Capitalism, wrote Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health (2018). Waitzkin will discuss just what’s wrong with the U.S. medical system, how it got this way, and a strategy of moving toward post-capitalist health-care systems and societies, with current examples from the United States and Korea.

Affiliations: Howard Waitzkin is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology and former Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico. He practices internal medicine part-time in rural New Mexico and Illinois. For many years he has been active in struggles focusing on health access in the United States and Latin America. He is coordinator, with the Working Group for Health Beyond Capitalism, of Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health (2018) and author of Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire (2011), among other books. Currently he is teaching at Seoul National University School of Public Health, as a Fulbright Senior Scholar.