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Harold Pollack
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Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration, and Faculty Chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies at the University of Chicago. He has published widely at the interface between poverty policy and public health. His recent research concerns HIV and hepatitis prevention efforts for injection drug users, drug abuse and dependence among welfare recipients and pregnant women, infant mortality prevention, and child health. His research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research, Pediatrics, and Social Service Review. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare," was selected for The Best American Medical Writing, 2009.

Blog Entries by Harold Pollack

Looking Back on the Vaccine-Autism Controversy

Posted June 14, 2011 | 18:33:07 (EST)

I wrote a review article about the vaccine-autism controversy in the current issue of the policy-wonk journal Democracy. (If you don't read Democracy, you should. It's an honor to publish in such a terrific place.)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 118...

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The Urgent Situation in Cote d'Ivoire

Posted March 28, 2011 | 21:53:54 (EST)

Greetings, HuffPost readers. It has been awhile since I have posted. I have an important reason for returning.

Some of my close friends and colleagues work in Côte d'Ivoire, addressing the very significant HIV prevention and treatment challenge facing that country. With the world distracted by happenings in Egypt,...

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Don't Reward Mass Murderers With Mass Publicity

Posted January 18, 2011 | 13:01:50 (EST)

Time magazine arrived in my mailbox today. There are many ways to grace its cover. You can found Microsoft. You can date Taylor Swift. You can win the Nobel Prize. Or you can kill or wound nineteen people, including a judge, a congresswoman, and a nine-year-old child. There on this...

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Advice from my father on my wedding day

Posted December 31, 2010 | 16:35:13 (EST)

(This is cross-listed with the Reality-based community, where most of my material appears these days.).

This New Year's provides an obvious occasion to look over the last turbulent decade, which featured a tragic presidency, terrorist attacks, two wars, shameful betrayal of American constitutional values in Guantanamo and other...

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Kids today...are actually pretty cool. Exhibit A: Hundredsofhands.com

Posted December 25, 2010 | 18:21:04 (EST)

Mike Sabath, the very talented son of an old high school acquantance made this video to raise money for Special Olympics and like charities through the website hundredsofhands.com.

The kid is in 7th grade. If...

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Physicians' Response to Republican Health Care Proposals

Posted December 12, 2010 | 23:04:41 (EST)

Vivek Murthy and Rahul Rajkumar are two physician colleagues and friends. They wrote the following essay recently. HuffPo readers should read it, to get a sense of what progressive physicians are saying and thinking in the wake of the midterm elections.

Congressional Republicans, emboldened by their recent midterm election victories,...

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If You Think Doctors Don't Want Health Reform, Read Their Stories

Posted November 23, 2010 | 23:36:47 (EST)

I am an advisor to Doctors for America, a group of progressive physicians. DFA is circulating the below petition among physicians and medical students:

Dear Representatives John Boehner and Eric Cantor:

We are physicians and medical students who serve patients across America in all 50 states.

Every day, we see...

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A story about eyeglasses

Posted October 24, 2010 | 15:04:56 (EST)

I was emailing a friend about family care giving. I hope that this gives Huffpo readers a flavor for the weird challenges this sometimes poses. (for more of my writing in this area, I hope you visit www.samefacts.com)

Some months ago, the residents in my brother-in-law Vincent's group home...

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Should We Screen Newborns for Fragile X Syndrome?

Posted October 13, 2010 | 01:29:11 (EST)

My latest long-form article, in the November issue of American Prospect, concerns the dilemmas of newborn genetic screening, focusing on a condition called fragile X syndrome.

Fragile X is the most common heritable form of intellectual disability. Many individuals with fragile X syndrome are also diagnosed...

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We're Improving People's Lives -- If We Don't Lose Heart, the Public Will Notice

Posted September 10, 2010 | 12:45:18 (EST)

I was recently on an American Political Science Association panel exploring the politics of health reform. Many of us -- myself certainly included -- were a little down. We lamented the imprudent back-loading of the Affordable Care Act. It didn't provide enough immediate and tangible benefit to visibly...

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Double Count of Irony in Republican Arguments About Medicare

Posted August 31, 2010 | 23:53:13 (EST)

I advise a group of dynamic, progressive physicians in Doctors for America. In a tough political climate, I am heartened by the energy, skill, and commitment of DFA members. Many are -- or soon will be -- key leaders in reforming national health policy, and in improving the...

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A Lousy April We Can Avoid

Posted August 21, 2010 | 15:16:06 (EST)

I got home a little late tonight. Against my better judgment, I plopped down on the couch with my family to watch cable news. There was Majority Leader McConnell crowing about the Senate's passage of what's been dubbed the "Stop Taxing 'Ur Personal Income, Dude" Act. This extends the Bush...

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Suicides Among the Unemployed: A National Humiliation

Posted August 17, 2010 | 12:10:01 (EST)

If you haven't been following Annie Lowrey's stories about chronic joblessness at the Washington Independent, you should. Today she has a story titled, simply, "Death and Joblessness." It is about the apparent spike in suicides occurring in some places scarred by the economic crisis:

So how many...
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Missing a friend, and learning from his example

Posted May 29, 2010 | 15:48:46 (EST)

Given my profession and some unlucky life turns, I've had more occasion than my typical reader to mourn beautiful people close to me, or--more often--to mourn beautiful people one or two steps more distant. Aside from the routine roster of elderly relatives who died at the natural sunset of human...

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Was too! Reply to Kilkenny over media coverage of health reform

Posted April 3, 2010 | 12:58:04 (EST)

Andrew Sullivan believes "Harold Pollack goes out on a limb" in calling health reform the best-covered news story ever. Allison Kilkenny believes that "Harold Pollack went out on a limb, and unfortunately fell off the edge." At least they spelled my name right.

Kilkenny and...

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What Do Leading Economists and Pro-Life Progressive Activists Have in Common? They Both Support Health Reform

Posted March 14, 2010 | 20:27:38 (EST)

I'm proud of two letters that were released this week. The first was signed by 40 of the nation's leading experts in health economics and public finance. This letter should reassure political moderates who worry cost control issues. It says:

The health care reforms passed by the...
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Experts Say: It's Time to Act on Comprehensive Health Reform

Posted February 26, 2010 | 17:16:12 (EST)

Yesterday's bipartisan summit marked a milestone, hopefully the last critical milestone, before the final vote is taken on comprehensive health reform. Under the President's auspices, Democrats and Republicans came together for a remarkable seven hours of adult health policy debate.

Given the nature of this event, health policy experts...

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It's Not Too Late to Sign the Demand Question Time Petition

Posted February 6, 2010 | 13:51:37 (EST)

President Obama's 86-minute exchange with House Republicans was one of the best things to happen to American democracy in a long time. I was delighted that President Obama gave a terrific accounting of himself on health care, but that's not the point. Republicans had a legitimate chance to confront the...

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If you want health reform, call your Representative and your Senator. Tell them to get this done!

Posted February 4, 2010 | 13:41:03 (EST)

Health reform is in the balance. Congressional leaders and the administration are trying hard to break the log jam. Since the State of the Union, President Obama has been out there fighting to get this done.

The good guys really need help from us. They need every one of...

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Policy wonks agree: Pass (and then fix!) the Senate health reform bill

Posted January 22, 2010 | 22:51:28 (EST)

This is a tough moment in the health care fight. It is not the toughest moment--or at least it does not have to be. Corresponding with policy wonks, advocates, public health and medical folks who hold a broad range of ideological views, I am struck that virtually every person I...

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