Send to

Choose Destination
Med Anthropol Q. 2014 Mar;28(1):1-22. doi: 10.1111/maq.12065. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Critical Anthropology of Global Health "takes a stand" statement: a critical medical anthropological approach to the U.S.'s Affordable Care Act.

Author information

Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Denver.


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010--the U.S.'s first major health care reform in over half a century-has sparked new debates in the United States about individual responsibility, the collective good, and the social contract. Although the ACA aims to reduce the number of the uninsured through the simultaneous expansion of the private insurance industry and government-funded Medicaid, critics charge it merely expands rather than reforms the existing fragmented and costly employer-based health care system. Focusing in particular on the ACA's individual mandate and its planned Medicaid expansion, this statement charts a course for ethnographic contributions to the on-the-ground impact of the ACA while showcasing ways critical medical anthropologists can join the debate. We conclude with ways that anthropologists may use critiques of the ACA as a platform from which to denaturalize assumptions of "cost" and "profit" that underpin the global spread of market-based medicine more broadly.


Affordable Care Act; Medicaid; critical medical anthropology; health insurance; neoliberalism

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center