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, physician 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, the insurance plans and prescriptions we fall back on when we're not. And 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 argues that the country's failing health is a product of the society and culture Americans have built for ourselves — not just in lifestyle, but in the separations entrenched across the spectrum of American experience.
A deeply affecting work that is at once rigorous and personal, Well ushers a new understanding of the problems and promise of health in America.