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Is the Affordable Care Act Really Affordable?

The newest issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly, a journal of the Society of Medical Anthropology, offers an in depth look at both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and national health care systems worldwide.

Several of the articles in the journal offer a critical look at the ACA as the United States embarks its first health care reformation in over half a century. One article in particular, Critical Anthropology of Global Health “Takes A Stand” Statement: A Critical Medical Anthropological Approach to the U.S.’s Affordable Care Act looks at the driving force behind the ACA, it’s uneasy compromise with the insurance industry, the unconstitutionality of the original planned expansion of Medicaid, and the shortfalls the ACA imposes on the American population.

Written by Sarah Horton (UColorado, Denver), Cesar Abadía (UNacional de Columbia), Jessica Mulligan (Providence College) and Jennifer Jo Thompson (U Georgia) the article encourages anthropologists to join in the national conversation and sets benchmarks in which to measure the future progress of this emerging health care system. The authors come to conclude that “In the end, the ACA leaves the nation’s Goliath of a health care industry intact, imposing only mild regulations on insurance and pharmaceutical companies’ leveraging of profits” (p15).

Read the entire article, here.

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