The Body Politic: Federalism as Feminism in Health Reform

14 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2018

See all articles by Elizabeth Y. McCuskey

Elizabeth Y. McCuskey

Boston University School of Public Health; Boston University - School of Law; Center for Health Law Studies

Date Written: March 1, 2018


This essay illuminates how modern health law has been mainstreaming feminism under the auspices of health equity and social determinants research. Feminism shares with public health and health policy both the empirical impulse to identify inequality and the normative value of pursing equity in treatment. Using the Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance reforms as a case study of health equity in action, the essay exposes the feminist undercurrents of health insurance reform and the impulse toward mutuality in a body politic. The essay concludes by revisiting — from a feminist perspective — scholars’ arguments that equity in health insurance is essential for human flourishing.

Keywords: Federalism, Feminism, Health Reform, Health Insurance, Health Equity, Health Justice, Social Determinants Of Health, Affordable Care Act

JEL Classification: L1, L13, L14, L15, L18

Suggested Citation

McCuskey, Elizabeth Y., The Body Politic: Federalism as Feminism in Health Reform (March 1, 2018). 11 Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy 303, Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth Y. McCuskey (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Public Health ( email )

United States

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Center for Health Law Studies ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

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