What is the main point of "More Than a Message: Framing Public Health Advocacy to Change Corporate Practices" by Lori Dorfman, DrPH Lawrence Wallack, and DrPH Katie Woodruff, MPH? What information...

What is the main point of "More Than a Message: Framing Public Health Advocacy to Change Corporate Practices" by Lori Dorfman, DrPH Lawrence Wallack, and DrPH Katie Woodruff, MPH? What information is surprising? Why?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The main point of the article is that there is a big need in the area of public health policy in terms of how to explain to the public the social and health contexts under which changes are sought.

In other words, public health officials who advocate in pro of policies that will bring changes to the way health coverage will occur, and what should be covered, should be able to (like the article says) "properly articulate" with proper data and conversation points why it is that they want those changes to happen in the first place.

The authors mention two areas of improvement that must be addressed when involving the public: the social context, that explains why the change should happen, and the market context, that explains the economic rationale behind this change. The authors offer that, once these areas of communication are observed, there may be less contention in a topic that produces so much argument.

The article stems from the ongoing debate regarding health care policy in the U.S. As we know, the issues of health coverage and healthcare policies have caused innumerable amounts of controversy and discussion points. The article argues that part of the problem is that the health care policy advocates themselves lack the preparation to deal with the debates that surface when the media becomes involves and starts asking questions. 

As with all politics, sometimes the infiltration of the media brings with it personal and collective agendas from groups that either oppose or support health care policy changes. The authors provide different ways to handle potential debates and lessons on how to counter argue those points of contention that do come up during meetings and campaigning.  The way of doing it, as the conclusion states, is by addressing the social and market aspects of the conversation.

Thus, the solution proposed in the article is that the people who work with health care policy must learn to prepare their arguments in a way that they can instantly provide the media and other channels of public communication with answers that could resolve even the more contentious questions posted by said channels. Since healthcare policy involves so much funding from both public (social) and private (market) sectors, it is imperative that enough rationale is given to substantiate the changes that are looked into in both areas.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this is a very sensitive topic that will always carry with it discord and various arguments. Part of the argument is that a large amount of people opine that healthcare should root out of personal responsibility. An equal amount of people think the opposite: that healthcare is a right that the government should offer everyone, equally. This is when the argument moves from rational to purely political and this is why the conversation has to be kept at a level where the data speaks for itself and in a way that everyone is (in some way) satisfied. This is, at the least, one of the contributions that the article hopes to make.

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