Call for AAA panel participants on health care reform

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting November 16-20, 2011 Montreal, Canada

Co-chairs: Fayana Richards, Michigan State University; Julie Armin, University of Arizona

With the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the United States comes a variety of strategies for bringing marginalized groups into to the public-private health care system. The act will expand health care coverage to an additional 32 million uninsured people with claims of reducing health disparities and increasing the quality of health care. Scheduled to be implemented over the next three years with a projected completion date in 2014, patients, providers, and policy makers have already begun to experience the law’s effects. For this panel, they welcome papers that explore what it means to “reform” health care in the United States. They hope to examine historical efforts to reform health care, discursively analyze reform policies and their ideological underpinnings, and explore the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ethnographically.

We seek to address:

1. patients, providers and policy makers’ understandings of health care reform and the effects of newly implemented policies;

2. historical efforts at reform, such as the implementation of public programs or the increased application of managed care in health care settings;

3. how the intersection of policies shape reform efforts (e.g. public funding of abortions and the expansion of publicly funded insurance); and

4. neoliberal efforts to privatize state programs, including discussions of the “individual mandate” and the Affordable Care Act’s effects on private industry growth.

Please send your abstract (250 word maximum), as a Word attachment, to Julie Armin ( and Fayana Richards ( by March 20, 2011.

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