14 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol'y 93 (1997-1998)
Implementing Modern Public Health Goals through Government: An Examination of New Federalism and Public Health Law

handle is hein.journals/jchlp14 and id is 139 raw text is: IMPLEMENTING MODERN PUBLIC HEALTH
James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D., LL.M.*
Public health law, encompassing the exercise of governmental powers
in the interest of public health, is coextensive with the dynamic field of
public health. The goals of public health necessarily rely, at least in part,
on the use of public health law as a tool. Public health in the United
States, like public health law, has been greatly transformed since the
founding of the American colonies. The goals of public health, once lim-
ited to combatting infectious diseases at the local level,' have expanded
to include the regulation and control of the multi-varied conditions .in
which people can be healthy.2 Since public health regulation traditionally
has relied on the exercise of governmental powers,3 the expansiveness of
* Mr. Hodge is a Teaching Assistant, Georgetown University Law Center; Fellow,
Greenwall Fellowship Program in Bioethics and Health Policy (supported by the Green-
wall Foundation and jointly administered by Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins
University). The author would like to sincerely thank Professor Lawrence 0. Gostin (Ge-
orgetown University Law Center) for his encouragement, review, and substantive assist-
ance in the preparation of this article, and Imron T. Aly, J.D. candidate (Georgetown
University Law Center) for his research assistance.
This article is based in part on the author's substantive article, The Role of New Federal-
ism and Public Health Law, to be published in the Winter 1998 issue (Volume 12) of the
1. The sovereign law of colonial governments was primarily limited to controlling the
contagion and spread of communicable diseases. It provided for the quarantine of dis-
eased individuals, the vaccination of others, and, to a lesser degree, the improvement of
societal conditions leading to the spread of disease. See Wendy Parmet, Health Care and
the Constitution: Public Health and the Role of the State in the Farming Era, 20 HASTINGS
CONST. L.Q. 267, 281 (1993).
2. The Institute of Medicine proposes that [pjublic health is what we, as a society,
do collectively to assure the conditions for people to be healthy. INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE,
3. There is perhaps no facet of governmental regulation more important to the public
welfare than the maintenance of public health. See Lawrence 0. Gostin, Symposium: Se-
curing Health or Just Health Care? The Effect of the Health Care System on the Health of

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