Health Policy

New JHPPL study finds Republican governors delayed COVID-19 policies by an average of 2 days—a period with potentially devastating repercussions

The party of a state’s governor is the single most important predictor of the early adoption of social distancing policies, with Republican governors taking about two days longer to announce these mandates, finds a new study published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

A two-day delay could result in a 17% to 59% increase in COVID-19 cases, according to prior research.

To investigate why some states were slower to implement social distancing than others beginning in March 2020, the study’s authors compared announcement dates for social distancing measures, controlling for competing explanations such as economic resources and hospital preparedness. All else equal, states led by Republican governors were slower to implement such policies during a critical window of early COVID-19 response. 

The study also found that states may be more likely to adopt social distancing policies when neighboring states act. States with lower population density and states with fewer confirmed cases were both slower to take up policies, and gross state product had no significant effect on timing.

Health policy experts on the inequities, politics, & lessons of COVID-19

Seventeen health policy experts provide insight into the COVID-19 pandemic in a new series of articles published by the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, available free online for three months.

The authors, focusing primarily on the United States, explore topics such as COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people of color and how the US can reduce, rather than exacerbate, social and health inequities in future rapid response.

They outline the conditions of political communication that led to divergence along party lines and suggest social interventions to help us recover, such as universal health insurance, paid sick leave, tax reform, and investments in parental leave.

Explore the full list of articles here, all available as pre-publication manuscripts.

The Politics of the Opioid Epidemic

The Politics of the Opioid Epidemic,” the newest issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, edited by Susan L. Moffitt and Eric M. Patashnik, is freely available for three months. Read the full issue here.

In this special issue, leading political scientists from diverse theoretical traditions provide new insights into the enduring features of American policy and practice that have influenced state-level and national responses to the ongoing opioid crisis.

Key among these features is the persistent power of race in shaping public opinion of the opioid crisis, influencing the development of punitive and treatment-oriented legislation, and impacting media portrayal of opioids and the communities they affect.

Other factors include the development of the conservative welfare state and the challenges of delivering information and services to affected communities through existing, dysfunctional systems.

New Books in April

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Curling up on the couch with a great book is an excellent way to practice social distancing this month. All these titles will deliver before our sale ends on May 1, so check our website regularly. You can save 50% on all in-stock titles with coupon SPRING50

Tyler Bickford traces the dramatic rise of the “tween” pop music industry in Tween Pop, showing how it marshaled childishness as a key element in legitimizing children’s participation in public culture.

The contributors to Playing for Keeps examine the ways in which musical improvisation can serve as a way to negotiate violence, trauma, systemic inequality, and the aftermaths of war and colonialism. This volume is edited by Daniel Fischlin and Eric Porter.

John F. Szwed’s Space is the Place is the definitive biography of Sun Ra—composer, keyboardist, bandleader, philosopher, entrepreneur, poet, self-proclaimed extraterrestrial from Saturn, and a founder of Afrofuturism. We are pleased to be bringing this classic back into print with a new preface.

In Vital Decomposition, Kristina M. Lyons presents an ethnography of human-soil relations in which she follows state soil scientists and peasant farmers in Colombia’s Putumayo region, showing how their relationship with soil is key to caring for the forest and growing non-illicit crops in the face of violence, militarism, and environmental destruction.

Micha Rahder explores how multiple ways of knowing the forest of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve shape conservation practice, local livelihoods, and landscapes in An Ecology of Knowledges.

In Relations, Marilyn Strathern provides a critical account of anthropology’s key concept of relation and its usage and significance in the English-speaking world, showing how its evolving use over the last three centuries reflects changing thinking about knowledge-making and kin-making.

In Virtual Pedophilia, Gillian Harkins traces the genealogy of the transformation of cultural construction of the pedophile as a social outcast into the image of normative white masculinity from the 1980s to the present, showing how his “normalcy” makes him hard to identify and stop.

In A People’s History of Detroit, Mark Jay and Philip Conklin use a Marxist framework to tell a sweeping story of Detroit from 1913 to the present, outlining the complex socio-political dynamics underlying major events in Detroit’s past, from the rise of Fordism and the formation of labor unions to deindustrialization and the city’s recent bankruptcy.

In Revolution and Disenchantment, Fadi A. Bardawil explores the hopes for and disenchantments with Marxism-Leninism in the writings and actions of revolutionary intellectuals within the 1960s Arab New Left.

In Tehrangeles Dreaming, Farzaneh Hemmasi draws on ethnographic fieldwork in Los Angeles and musical and textual analysis to examine how the pop music, music videos, and television made by Iranian expatriates express modes of Iranianness not possible in Iran.

The Lonely Letters is an epistolary blackqueer critique of the normative world in which Ashon T. Crawley meditates on the interrelation of blackqueer life, sounds of the black church, theology, mysticism, and the potential for platonic and erotic connection in a world that conspires against blackqueer life.

Drawing on Whitman and Adorno, Morton Schoolman proposes aesthetic education through film as a way to redress the political violence inflicted on difference society constructs as its racialized, gendered, Semitic, and sexualized other in A Democratic Enlightenment.

In Kwaito Bodies, Xavier Livermon examines the cultural politics of the youthful black body in South Africa through the performance, representation, and consumption of Kwaito—a style of electronic dance music that emerged following the end of apartheid.

Reflecting on the experience, philosophy, and practice of Latin American indigenous and Afro-descendant activist-intellectuals who mobilize to defend their territories from large-scale extraction, Arturo Escobar shows in Pluriversal Politics how the key to addressing planetary crises is the creation of the pluriverse—a world of many epistemological and ontological worlds.

The contributors to AIDS and the Distribution of Crises outline the myriad ways that the AIDS pandemic exists within a network of varied historical, overlapping, and ongoing crises borne of global capitalism and colonial, racialized, and gendered violence. This collection is edited by Jih-Fei Cheng, Alexandra Juhasz, and Nishant Shahani. It is currently available to read free online as part of our Navigating the Threat of Pandemic syllabus.

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Navigating the Threat of Pandemic

Amid the worldwide spread of COVID-19, it’s a challenging time, and our thoughts are with those affected by this disease. In support and solidarity, we are providing free access to books and journal articles that we hope will build knowledge and understanding of how we navigate the spread of communicable diseases.

Our “Navigating the Threat of Pandemic” syllabus is available here. Listed books are free to read online until June 1, 2020, and journal articles are free until October 1.

Interview with Jonathan Oberlander, New Editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

We sat down with Jonathan Oberlander, the new editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (JHPPL), to discuss his vision for the journal, what sets JHPPL apart, and what he’s looking for in submissions. Oberlander is Professor and Chair of Social Medicine, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What is your professional background, and what brought you to JHPPL?

I’m a political scientist by training, and I actually started out studying Middle Eastern politics before moving into health care. I must be drawn to irresolvable conflicts. When I applied to graduate school, I applied half to universities in Middle Eastern politics and half in health care politics. I wound up going to graduate school in American politics, with a focus on health care, and as a PhD student, I worked with Ted Marmor, who was one of the founders of the field of health politics in the United States and a former editor of JHPPL.

I grew up on JHPPL, and I’ve known other editors—Ted Marmor, Colleen Grogan, Eric Patashnik, Mark Peterson, Mark Schlesinger, Michael Sparer, Larry Brown, Jim Morone—they’re all colleagues and friends of mine. It was the first journal I ever published in as a graduate student, and it has remained the core journal in my professional life. I’ve been involved in one way or another with the journal for a long time.

What is your vision for JHPPL? What do you hope to accomplish as editor, and how do you see the journal evolving under your leadership?

I think Eric has been an excellent editor, and I want to build on what he’s done. This is an exciting time in health care policy and reform, a time of tremendous volatility and change, and JHPPL has much to say about that change and about what’s going on in health care reform.

I want the journal to be an influential voice in commenting on the direction of health care policy both in the United States and abroad. We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act; the journal has had a lot to say about the ACA, and we will have a lot to say marking the 10th anniversary of its enactment.

I want the journal to publish not just on health care reform but to deepen our engagement in the politics of public health, and to publish on a wide variety of issues, from the politics of reproductive health to the opioid epidemic to tobacco regulation and much more. I want us to be capacious in thinking about the kind of work we’re going to publish, and to think about health care politics as a very broad area that includes health care reform, insurance, and financing but is actually much broader than that.

Are you planning any special issues?

Nothing is final, but I have a few things in mind. Certainly the Affordable Care Act at 10 is one. I’d like to do a special issue on prescription drug costs and pricing, and one on the future of Roe v. Wade and reproductive health policy in this country. Immigration and health is certainly an issue that JHPPL should pay attention to, and the future of tobacco regulation is another one. These are all ideas swimming around, and we’ll see which ones get to the surface.

What qualities set JHPPL apart from other journals in the field?

I think the articles that JHPPL publishes have a substantive depth to them that’s singular. Health policy is a changing field; there’s a lot in health care policy that is fleeting, of the moment. I think JHPPL has always been committed to publishing articles that have intellectual rigor, scholarly depth, and a half-life beyond the next week’s headlines.

We’re also highly interdisciplinary. The journal has published political scientists, economists, health services researchers, lawyers, public health researchers, sociologists, and more, and I think that interdisciplinary nature is core to JHPPL’s identity. We want to publish articles that are of interest and accessible to our myriad disciplinary audiences.

What are you looking for in submissions?

We’re looking for pieces that speak to the core issues and themes that JHPPL is known for. We’re going to be looking broadly—we want submissions from authors who haven’t written for JHPPL before. We want more submissions from fields that JHPPL has published in but perhaps not yet in great quantity. Ultimately, what we’re really looking for is quality, and articles that have depth, accessibility, and that are compelling and engaging no matter what the discipline is.

Health and Political Participation

The newest issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, “Health and Political Participation,” is now freely available online for three months.

Contributors analyze the potential of health policy to affect the public’s health and political engagement, covering topics that include whether participation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) differs by political partisanship, the potential mechanisms behind low voter turnout for Americans with disabilities, and the political determinants of health in the least healthy place in America, the Mississippi Delta.

Read the full issue, freely available for three months.

The Political Beliefs and Civic Engagement of Physicians in an Era of Polarization

The newest special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, “The Political Beliefs and Civic Engagement of Physicians in an Era of Polarization,” edited by Eitan D. Hersh, is now available.

jhp44_1_coverMedicine is, increasingly, a politicized profession. As the US navigates through a period of change and uncertainty in healthcare, physicians approach politics both as clinicians with expertise in healthcare delivery and as an interest group looking to protect their economic self-interest in a highly regulated field. This issue sheds light on how physicians affect politics and how politics affects them as they organize, advocate, and counsel patients in their offices on politically impinged personal health issues.

Read the introduction, freely available, and browse the table of contents.

Health Politics and Policy Articles for your Fall Syllabus

coverimageAs the school year commences, we’re excited to share a sample syllabus with articles from the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. JHPPL focuses on the initiation, formulation, and implementation of health policy and analyzes the relations between government and health, past, present, and future.

We’ve identified a few articles that you might find especially useful as you prepare your fall semester syllabi:

The articles are all freely available for the next year.