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Losing your job may mean losing your health

The relationship between employment status and health is well-documented – and it is something we should remind ourselves of during this ongoing downturn, and something that should motivate us to press for policies that increase jobs.

By Michael Yudell

Meanwhile, perhaps the best thing that we can do as a nation is to first realize that challenges faced by the unemployed are far more consequential than a sound bite about the latest job-loss numbers on the evening news, and, second, that we should be obligated by our moral outrage at the plight of the unemployed to demand so much more of our politicians. More than four years into our Great Recession, we have failed to do just that in a fundamental way. The fault lies in politics as much as it lies in all of us.

President Obama, although you are in the middle of a campaign, don't allow those in Congress or the pundit class in D.C. to stop you from doing all in your power to increase employment as fast as you can. Even if you can't get something through Congress, at least try. Make this the centerpiece of your campaign.

Yes, things have improved, and yes, we can argue about the successes and failures of that improvement, whether it is happening fast enough, and who is helping or hindering this process. But we are in this mess together. Those who are unemployed are our families and friends, our former co-workers, and those we will never know.

It's not just their livelihoods that depend on more rapid job growth, it is also their health.

Read more about The Public's Health.