Health Insurance in America: Providing Substance to America's Values

Alec G. Karakatsanis, Harvard Law School


This article examines the shared values that infuse American culture. It attempts to demonstrate significant and troubling deviations from these values in actual substantive law and policy. These deviations reflect structural problems that prevent the meaningful pursuit of healthy and happy individual lives and deteriorate the social bonds and relationships between people upon which a good society is based. The focus is strongly on the nexus between health insurance and poverty. The goal is to draw from shared values a strong policy commitment to widespread health insurance expansion, as well as a theoretical blueprint for the practical implementation of this new and important commitment.