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“Public Health’s Inconvenient Truth” by Majestic


In recent decades, with escalating healthcare costs and shortening resources for public health programs, the prospect of the cooperation between healthcare organizations and the business sector attracts the growing attention of healthcare professionals and officials. In this context, the journal Preventing Chronic Disease published an article titled “Public Health’s Inconvenient Truth” to foster awareness regarding the importance of the close partnerships between the business sector and public health agencies. This paper aims at summarizing the main points of the article and describing the three principle changes and the three trends occurring in the public health landscape.

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In the article, the author Elizabeth Majestic attempts to uncover objective reasons for more active participation of public health professionals in the strategic partnership with the private sector. The first reason is associated with workplace health programs that can be used to improve the health of millions of employees and their families (Majestic, 2009). The second reason arises from shifts occurring in the US society and its prospective impact on public health partnerships (Majestic, 2009). In particular, the author indicates that unhealthy workers present significant concern to American business since they undermine its competitiveness by causing considerable expenditures related to work misses, low performance, and overall healthcare. Second, the author specifies that the three changes are primarily connected with political and social forces, substantial shifts in demographics and economic profiles, and the necessity for medical workers and funding for public health programs. Finally, Majestic gives examples of partnerships, including the American Cancer Society and Workplace Solutions; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cargill, Inc.; and Business Roundtable and the American Association of Retired Persons.

The first trend is that commercial leaders increasingly accept the idea that the healthcare industry is a highly profitable business. According to PBC Insurance Group, in 2019, 784,626 companies operated in the US healthcare sector, the largest of which is McKesson Corporation with annual revenue of $208.3 billion (Areval, 2019). Currently, companies are mainly engaged in clinic service, healthy food, medical device, healthcare IT, sports apparel, and pharmaceutical sectors, investing billions of dollars.

The second tendency is that public health income for programs at the local, state, and national levels drop because of growing budget deficits, the economic downturn, and a shrinking workforce. Furthermore, according to The National Health Expenditure Accounts, US healthcare expenses mounted 4.6 percent in 2018, achieving $3.6 trillion or $11,172 per individual, which accounted for 17.7 percent of the US Gross Domestic Product. Similar budget problems can also be observed at the state level (“Historical,” n.d.). Finally, chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and asthma place a tremendous workload on healthcare professionals. In this regard, the Council of State Governments asserts that, “State governments could lose more than 30% of their workforce to retirement, private-sector employers, and alternative careers” (Majestic, 2009, p. A39). Growths in joblessness and people without health insurance will only exacerbate the demands on public health programs.


Areval, T. (2009). The state of the health care industry – 2019. PBC Insurance Group. Web.

Historical. (n.d.) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Web.

Majestic, E. (2009). Public health’s inconvenient truth: The need to create partnerships with the business sector. Preventing Chronic Disease, 6(2), A39.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 9). “Public Health’s Inconvenient Truth” by Majestic.

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