Health policy expert, Rosemarie Day, played a leading role in Massachusetts’ health care reform
in 2006, which later became the model for the Affordable Care Act. She knows her stuff.
I recommend her book, Marching Towards Coverage, to anyone who is looking to understand
the complicated, messy history of US health care, but who doesn’t have the time to take an
entire health policy course. She somehow manages to explain, in a matter of chapters, what my
graduate health policy courses took several semesters to teach me.
But she does it one better.
You see, the typical way you learn about health care reform in the classroom is through a list of
dates and presidents. Male US Presidents are given all the credit for health care reforms passed
by their administrations, but Rosemarie Day fills us in on the details of history that often go
unmentioned – the transformative contributions of women. While man after man sat in the
oval office, an army of female advocates and activists were fighting to protect and improve
social programs, public health, and health care access. From Frances Perkins, who we have to
thank for the Social Security Act, or women’s and civil rights leader, Fannie Lou Hamer, and
Pauline Newman, labor rights advocate, women have always played a leading role in bettering
the nation’s health.
In my interview with Rosemarie Day at Public Health Post, she encourages us to remember
these past achievements by women in order to inspire us to pick up where they left off and
finish the fight for universal healthcare in the US.