Frames of Rights, Entitlement, Need, and Deservingness in the Affordable Care Act
Susanne N. Beechey
Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, USA.
DOI: 10.4236/sm.2015.54021   PDF   HTML   XML   4,217 Downloads   4,909 Views   Citations


I analyze four frames deployed by members of United States Congress on the floor of the House of Representatives before the initial passage of the Affordable Care Act on November 7, 2009. Of the four frames—need, rights, deservingness, and entitlement—need was by far the most commonly used frame in the debate followed by rights, deservingness, and entitlement. I conclude that while Congress may broadly agree that Americans need and even deserve health care, it provided no right or entitlement to care under the Affordable Care Act.

Share and Cite:

Beechey, S. (2015) Frames of Rights, Entitlement, Need, and Deservingness in the Affordable Care Act. Sociology Mind, 5, 239-244. doi: 10.4236/sm.2015.54021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Abramovitz, M. (1988). Regulating the Lives of Women. Boston: South End Press.
[2] Campbell, A. (2003). How Policies Make Citizens: Senior Political Activism and the American Welfare State. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
[3] Derthick, M. (1979). Policymaking for Social Security. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.
[4] Ferree, M., Gamson, W., Gerhards, J., & Ruchts, D. (2002). Shaping Abortion Discourse: Democracy and the Public Sphere in Germany and the US. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
[5] Gilens, M. (2000). Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
[6] Mink, G. (1998). Welfare’s End. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
[7] Nadasen, P., Mittelstadt, J., & Chappell, M. (2009). Welfare in the United States: A History with Documents 1935-1996. New York, NY: Routledge.
[8] United States Congress (2009). Congressional Record, 155, H12592-H12968. 7 November 2009.
[9] Van de Water, P., & Sherman, A. (2013). Social Security Keeps 22 Million Americans Out of Poverty: A State-by-State Analysis. Washington DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
[10] Weaver, K. (2000). Ending Welfare as We Know It. Washington DC: The Brookings Institution.
[11] Willen, S. (2012). How Is Health-Related “Deservingness” Reckoned? Perspectives from Unauthorized Im/migrants in Tel Aviv. Social Science & Medicine, 74, 812-822.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.