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Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care$
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Jane Banaszak-Holl, Sandra Levitsky, and Mayer Zald

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388299.001.0001

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The Consumer-Directed Health Care Movement *

The Consumer-Directed Health Care Movement *

From Social Equity to Free Market Competition

(p.50) 4 The Consumer-Directed Health Care Movement*
Social Movements and the Transformation of American Health Care

Jill Quadagno

J. Brandon McKelvey

Oxford University Press

Quadagno and McKelvey challenge traditional social movement distinctions between political “insiders” and “outsiders” in their analysis of the consumer‐directed health care (CDHC) movement, a loose‐knit coalition of insurance companies, financial services companies, advocacy organizations, and conservative politicians. The CDHC movement's primary goal has been to transform patients into informed consumers by characterizing medical care as a commodity that is purchased in the same way as other market goods. Quadagno and McKelvey argue that of all the social movement organizations that have sought to transform the financing of medical services in the United States, only the CDHC has succeeded in shifting the direction of the health care system. Unlike traditional characterizations of social movement organizations as operating at the margins of the political system, the CDHC movement consists of elite organizations with ample resources and the capacity to utilize the party system to their advantage. Despite such advantages, Quadagno and McKelvey argue, the CDHC movement shares with other social movements a desire to challenge existing health institutions and a need to devise tactics and strategies to use their resources to the best political advantage.

Keywords:   social movements, collective action, health care, policy reform, mobilization, interest groups, consumer, health insurance, health financing

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