A Historic Moment | Social Sustainability and Health Care

by Scott Lewis
Brightworks CEO

.Sustainability is meaningless without social justice.

Triple Bottom Line, The Natural Step, even the Bruntland Commission definition all explicitly or implicitly require a hard look at how we treat our fellow human passengers on this verdant, blue spaceship called Earth.  More explicitly, we have looked at the new emerging practice called “Social Sustainability.”

But regardless of definition, the concept remains the same: sustainability is meaningless without social justice.  And today, social justice, and sustainability, took a transformational leap forward.  For the first time in our nation’s history, we can now shed the dubious distinction of being the only industrialized country that does not guarantee health care to its entire populous.

To those who argue that this move will ‘bankrupt our economy,’ I suppose the best answer is that of the 12 countries that outrank the US on the Human Development Index, all have universal health care (and none has gone bankrupt yet); the same is true for the 10 counties ahead of the US on the GDP Per Capita index.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will guarantee health care coverage for 32 million Americans that currently cannot afford health insurance.  32 million Americans.

Sustainability is meaningless without social justice.  And today, social justice, and sustainability, took a transformational leap forward.

The Signing

Marcelas Owens, 11, looks on as President Obama signs healthcare legislation. Marcelas' mother died after losing her insurance. (White House photo)

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Brightworks’ mission is to foster the emergence of a sustainable, equitable society.

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