Health Care: Beyond Bromides

Health Care: Beyond Bromides

Sophocles wrote of an archer named Philoctetes, who was bitten by a serpent and whose wound would not heal. His countrymen were so discomforted by his injury and his anguished cries that they marooned the war hero on a desolate island. That is one way to deal with the suffering: remove them from sight. There are many like Philoctetes in America, citizens cast out from public consciousness because their medical problems seem too painful or costly to face. Among them: 37 million Americans who have no health insurance, a million young women too poor to provide adequate prenatal care for their...

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