David M. Craig traveled across the United States to assess health care access, delivery and finance in this country. He interviewed religious hospital administrators and interfaith activists, learning how they balance the values of ecomic efficiency and community accountability. He met with conservatives, liberals, and moderates, reviewing their ideas for market reform or support for the Affordable Care Act. He discovered that health care in the US is t a private good or a public good. Decades of public policy and philanthropic service have made health care a shared social good. Health Care as a Social Good: Religious Values and the American Democracy argues that as escalating health costs absorb more and more of family income and government budgets, we need to take stock of the full range of health care values to create a different and more affordable community-based health care system. Transformation of that system is a national priority but Americans have failed to find a way to work together that bypasses our differences. Craig insists that community engagement around the common religious conviction that healing is a shared responsibility can help us achieve this transformation -- one that will t only help us realize a new and better system, but one that reflects the ideals of American democracy and the common good.
David M. Craig is associate professor of religious studies and the Thomas H. Lake Scholar in Religion and Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He is the author of John Ruskin and the Ethics of Consumption (University of Virginia Press, 2006).