Against the Very Idea of the Politicization of Public Health Policy

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I criticize the concern over the politicization of public health policy as a justification for preferring a narrow to a broad model of public health.

My critique proceeds along 2 lines. First, the fact that administrative structures and actors are primary sources of public health policy demonstrates its inescapably political and politicized nature. Second, historical evidence shows that public health in Great Britain and the United States has from its very inception been political and politicized.

I conclude by noting legitimate ethical concerns regarding the political nature of public health policy and argue that open deliberation in a democratic social order is best served by acknowledging the constraints of the inescapably politicized process of public health policymaking.

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