In Well, physician Sandro Galea examines what Americans miss when they fixate on healthcare: health.
Americans spend more money on health than people anywhere else in the world. And what do they get for it? Statistically, not much. Americans today live shorter, less healthy lives than citizens of other rich countries, and these trends show no signs of letting up.
The problem, Sandro Galea argues, is that Americans focus on the wrong things when they think about health. Our national understanding of what constitutes “being well” is centered on medicine — the lifestyles we adopt to stay healthy, and the insurance plans and prescriptions we fall back on when we’re not. While all these things are important, they’ve not proven to be the difference between healthy and unhealthy on the large scale.
Well is a radical examination of the subtle and not-so-subtle factors that determine who gets to be healthy in America. Galea shows how the country’s failing health is a product of American history and character — and how refocusing on our national health can usher enlightenment across American life and politics.