Migrant Workers and the Right to Health Care in the U.S.
Migrant workers are one of the groups with the least access to health care in the United States. Few have health insurance, and many are subject to unsafe and unhealthy conditions on the job. Yet, surprisingly, migrants have played an important part in expanding access to health care for all Americans. Historian Beatrix Hoffman will discuss migrants' role in the struggle for rights in America's unequal health system. Her talk will focus on two Arizona law cases in 1970s in which migrants fought back against being denied medical treatment, and in the process helped create new rights to health care.
Beatrix Hoffman's first book, The Wages of Sickness: The Politics of Health Care Reform in Progressive America, explored the many ways health care issues shaped many reform agendas and access to health care became a key bargaining point between employers, legislators and workers. Her second book, Patients as Policy Actors examined the levers patients pushed to affect health care policies in the United States. Her most recent book Health Care for Some: Rights and Rationing since 1930 tracks the many ways health care’s multiple status as a public good, a commodity and a right has shaped American reform since the New Deal.