In addition to our regular roundup of journal articles, these two special issues were published this month:
- In Medical Anthropology Quarterly, “Toward an Anthropology of Insurance and Health Reform.” The issue includes a policy statement: The Council on Anthropology and Reproduction (CAR) Opposes Legislation that Creates Barriers to Safe Abortion Care.
- In Health, Risk & Society, “Digitised Health, Medicine and Risk“
Toward an Anthropology of Insurance and Health Reform: An Introduction to the Special Issue
Amy Dao & Jessica Mulligan
This article introduces a special issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly on health insurance and health reform. We begin by reviewing anthropological contributions to the study of financial models for health care and then discuss the unique contributions offered by the articles of this collection. The contributors demonstrate how insurance accentuates—but does not resolve tensions between granting universal access to care and rationing limited resources, between social solidarity and individual responsibility, and between private markets and public goods. Insurance does not have a single meaning, logic, or effect but needs to be viewed in practice, in context, and from multiple vantage points. As the field of insurance studies in the social sciences grows and as health reforms across the globe continue to use insurance to restructure the organization of health care, it is incumbent on medical anthropologists to undertake a renewed and concerted study of health insurance and health systems.
A major goal of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to broaden health care access through the extension of insurance coverage.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.