Oregon Law Review : Vol. 89, No. 4, p. 1113-1178 : Weighing Status: Obesity, Class, and Health Reform

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Title: Oregon Law Review : Vol. 89, No. 4, p. 1113-1178 : Weighing Status: Obesity, Class, and Health Reform
Author: Dolgin, Janet L.; Dieterich, Katherine R.
Abstract: This Article focuses on the association between poverty and obesity and the implications of that association for attitudes toward health care reform. It suggests that alongside the nation’s putative efforts to “fight” obesity sits a far less explicit attempt to undermine that effort. And it suggests that a similar conflict underlies the effort to mitigate poverty. These conflicts and the social tensions they reflect must be revealed and examined in order to understand fully the nation’s longstanding refusal, and its continuing reluctance, to provide adequate health care coverage for everyone. Part I considers America’s peculiar class system, comparing the myth with the reality. It then explores the significance of that system in explaining the nation’s hesitation about providing health care coverage for everyone. Part II compares social assumptions about poverty with social assumptions about obesity. This Part suggests that the nation’s putative interest in ameliorating poverty and “fighting” obesity is undermined by conflicting interests. Part III then summarizes and offers an explanation of the 2010 health reform law’s limited response to obesity discrimination and to discrimination based on class. Finally, Part IV examines the implications of the nation’s ambivalent response to expanding health care coverage, both before and after passage of the 2010 health reform law. That ambivalence is illustrated through reference to conflated images of poverty and obesity.
Description: 66 p.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/11307
Date: 2011


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