According to Healthy People 2020, health equity can be defined as the “attainment of the highest level of health for all people,” regardless of one’s race, gender, nationality, age, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status. Health equity concerns disparities in health that can be traced to unequal, systemic economic, and social conditions, and requires an understanding of not only how health is governed, but also how law and legal frameworks can be used to reduce barriers and increase access to health. Despite significant improvements in the health of the overall population, health inequities in America persist. Legal approaches and tools are increasingly becoming a means for maximizing equity. In fact, the nation’s health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, has been called the “best opportunity in a generation to promote health equity.” From passing laws to protect vulnerable and disparate populations to implementing policies and programs that provide access to legal support in conjunction with medical care, there are increasing models of how law and legal tools can be used to pursue health equity.
This webinar, co-sponsored by CDC’s Public Health Law Program and the Network for Public Health Law, will focus on promising practices, based in law, to address health equity issues through drug abuse treatment and overdose prevention, Medical-Legal Partnerships, and interventions in domestic violence and homelessness.