Urban health care safety nets
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Like other systems supporting social reproduction, the US health care delivery system has been transformed by the expansion neoliberal economic logics throughout the state and voluntary sector. This study examines neoliberal capitalism’s spread within the voluntary sector of Milwaukee’s health care delivery system. I provide an economic geography of urban health care delivery in the US, with a particular focus on the relations between capital, the state, and the voluntary sector that continually (re)produce it. These relations are explored through my analysis of the growth of free clinics in the city, and the further privatization of the Milwaukee Clinical Campus, a public-private partnership that historically provided health care to the un/underinsured. Second, my political geography of the free clinic movement examines how this political project, grounded in a particular interpretation of Christian ethics of care, both ‘reworks’ and ‘resists’ the development and impacts of neoliberalized health care delivery in the city. This qualitative study using participant-observation, semi-structured interviews, and archival research contributes to current geographical work on the voluntary sector, privatization, urban social reproduction, and social movements.