By Audrey Andrews | May 19th, 2020
Well: What We Need to Talk about When We Talk About Health by Sandro Galea addresses the modern health crisis in a clear, comprehensive way. Healthcare in the United States is far from up to par with other industrialized countries. A popular political topic is the potential introduction of universal health care in the United States. Galea supports increased government involvement in the health of Americans, but in a more profound, nuanced manner than one may expect.
In Well, Galea argues that healthcare should be predominately proactive, not reactive. Although the United States spends far more on healthcare than all other countries, our people are unhealthy, and most money spent is on treatments after a malady has already gone too far for proper recovery.
Instead of further investing in reactive treatments, Galea believes we should first address comprehensive health. Examples include environmental protections to avoid dangerous problems like smog and eradicating poverty to ensure all children have access to affordable, healthy foods.
He goes a step further, divulging how the health of the populace is tied to the health of every individual. For example, if one’s friends are overweight, they are also likely to be overweight. The wealthy and healthy may think their wellbeing is independent of the less fortunate, but they are profoundly wrong.
Although Galea’s arguments are vastly accurate, Well is not particularly informative because it fails to offer new ideas. Galea himself addresses this in Chapter 1, where he notes that readers of Well are likely aware of these issues; it is those who will not pick up the book who need to read it most. As Galea is aware of this, I wish he would have introduced new, more radical ideas for those of us already interested in the topic. But, Well remains an informative overview of the deficiencies of modern healthcare.