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Gendering of Health Care Reform

Gendering of Health Care Reform

(p.119) 6 Gendering of Health Care Reform
Dangerous Frames
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines how the 1993–1994 debate on health care reform under Bill Clinton's administration induced gender implication. The health care case is a demonstration of group implication in action that shows its broad extent in American politics. By demonstrating gender group implication, the case shows that the subtle association of opinion with feelings about groups is not limited to race. Moreover, the case provides unique analytic leverage to demonstrate that elite framing causes group implication, because it shows how a change in elite frames led to a change in public opinion. The chapter begins by sketching an account of the Clinton administration's 1993–1994 health care reform effort, with a focus on the frames deployed by supporters and opponents of reform. Then using survey data from the American National Election Studies, it demonstrates that public opinion did become gender implicated in response to these frames. The chapter concludes with some observations about the significance of the findings for health care reform specifically as well as for our understanding of the role of gender implication in political cognition and politics.

Keywords:   gender, health care reform, group implication, politics, frames, public opinion, political cognition

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