Courts, Inequality, and Health Care

Peter D. Jacobson and Elizabeth Selvin

in Healthy, Wealthy, and Fair

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195170665
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850204 | DOI:
Courts, Inequality, and Health Care

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When interpreting legislation, courts are often presented with opportunities to address health-care inequalities. This chapter describes four instances showing the judiciary's reluctance to confront health-care inequalities. It argues that despite precedent for judicial intervention to change social policy in public education, welfare rights, and judicial takeovers of certain institutions, there has been considerable judicial reluctance to do so in health care. The courts have systematically chosen markets over equity. Medicare/Medicaid, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 (EMTALA), the Hill-Burton Act, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) are examples that several trends advocates should consider in devising strategies for reducing health-care inequalities.

Keywords: courts; health-care inequalities; social policy; Medicare; Medicaid; Emergency Medical Treatment; EMTALA; Hill-Burton Act; Employee Retirement Income; ERISA

Chapter.  11555 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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