The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in domestic and international spheres. Its mission is to serve as a high-level, nonpartisan forum to promote analysis and discussion on improving health and health care, and to address such issues as cost, quality, and access.
The journal reaches a broad audience that includes: government and health industry leaders; health care advocates; scholars of health, health care and health policy; and others concerned with health and health care issues in the United States and worldwide.
Health Affairs articles are cited by U.S. administration officials, U.S. lawmakers, and ministry of health leaders around the globe. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle reference Health Affairs in drafting legislation. US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts cited the journal in his decision regarding the Affordable Care Act. In addition, Health Affairs is frequently cited by national media, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, network television and radio, and NPR.
The Pump Handle is a place for people interested in public health and the environment to discuss the issues that interest us. The story of the pump handle is familiar to any first-semester public health student: During the London cholera epidemic of 1854, John Snow examined maps of cholera cases and traced the disease to water from a local pump. At the time, the prevailing theory held that cholera spread through the air, rather than water, so Snow faced criticism from others in the science community – not to mention resistance from the water companies. He finally convinced community leaders to remove the pump’s handle to prevent further exposure.