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New Society for Medical Anthropology “Takes a Stand” Statement on Health Insurance Reform

February 26, 2012 1 comment

The Critical Anthropology for Global Health interest group within the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) regularly asks its members to “take a stand” on a contemporary health issue. In 2008/2009, this initiative focused on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health, which led to the development of the AccessDenied blog and related publications.

The current working group on Global Health Insurance Reform has announced that a preliminary SMA “Takes a Stand” statement on health insurance reform is now publicly available for comment on the SMA website. The statement’s primary goal is to analyze health insurance reform in the U.S. through the lessons learned from transformations of health care systems worldwide. This analysis is situated within the context of broader theoretical questions about recent neoliberal changes in both health care and the state, and about the social contract in general. In the spirit of making this initiative a true dialogue, the statement was built upon many of the points made in mini-statements contributed over the last several months by medical anthropologists with regional and topical expertise. Direct links to these mini-statements are included in the document.

This is just the first step of the process. All are invited to read the statement and leave comments by clicking on the “Leave Comments/Feedback” link in the upper left-hand corner of the webpage to share your comments, ideas, and suggestions.

Categories: Health Reform, Recent Post

News Round-Up In Brief

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

US News

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News Round-Up In Brief

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

International News

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News Round Up In-Brief

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

International News:

US News:

News Round-Up Special Edition: Disaster in Japan

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment

One week after the start of the disaster in Japan, earthquake-induced power outages, food shortages, and the fear of radiation has prompted migration out of some regions and in some cases out of the country altogether. One news analyst even asks: Is the nuclear refugee the next type of environmental migrant?

The devastating impact of the earthquake and tsunami upon Japan’s largely invisible population of unauthorized immigrants remain to be seen. The January 1995 Kobe earthquake that killed 5,300 people and left 300,000 homeless prompted many unauthorized migrants to seek exit visas to leave Japan at their own expense. As this historical example shows, unauthorized migrants are not entitled to housing or other assistance that is made available to quake victims. Yesterday, the Migration Policy Institute posted a snapshot of the most recently available statistics on foreign nationals in the country, along with a link to their 2006 report on Japanese immigration policy. According to the information, 91,000 people overstayed their visas, plus another 13,000 to 22,000 estimated to have entered the country without authorization. Together, unauthorized migrants represent about 5 percent of the foreign nationals in Japan.

Some reports  over the past days indicate that relatives of migrant workers from the Philippines have been unable locate them on official lists of the missing. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lists over 4,300 Filipinos in Japan. The DFA’s Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs has  set up a crisis management center for those concerned about the welfare of their family members.

Access Denied welcomes any reports on the situation of unauthorized migrants in Japan following the disasters. You can send us information at or simply post replies here.

News Round Up In-Brief

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

News from the US:

  • As many state legislatures consider laws to expand the role of local police departments in immigration control, police chiefs across the country say they are reluctant to take on these tasks and want clear lines drawn between local crime-fighting and federal immigration enforcement, according to a new report by the Police Executive Research Forum.

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News Round Up In-Brief

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment

International News: