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Social Justice is the Foundation of Public Health

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 8/15/09

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social justice is the foundation of public health.

In this season of healthcare legislation, the scope of health is lost in the details of care.
Public health also consists of economic equity, citizens' rights, and abiding fairness of the court system.
Relative income equity means the rich are taxed at a higher rate than the poor and thus everyone has a more equal share in wealth and a more equal responsibility for and investment in prosperity.

Public health also means that race is no factor in imprisonment. When inmates are mostly the disenfranchised, they have no incentive to co-operate with a biased system, since whatever they do, they are more likely to suffer. In fact the incentive is reversed-- they may as well find illegal means of generating wealth because that's practically the only way they have a chance at wealth. Hopelessness is expensive.

But for society at large, the costs of inequality mushroom. Beside the prison system, the effects of poor education and no prospects fill the hospitals, stifle the education system, create a black market (poetic irony) that starts at drugs and finishes with insanity and homelessness.

Those who refuse to support public vaccinations for illegal immigrants forget that thereby they are allowing disease vectors to spread. That we all are affected by immunities to common sicknesses. We breathe the same air whether we have ID papers or not.

So that social justice becomes the safest as well as the least expensive path to public health.
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