Portraits of the Fragmented US Health Insurance System

Theresa BrownGold is a visual artist who paints portraits of people whose lives illustrate the consequences of the fragmented United States health insurance system. Well before the ACA debate began in 2009, she noted that debates about health care used patient anecdotes to advance political agendas, and advocates defined people with differing policy solutions as “other.” What if the “others” had stories and faces?

BrownGold began a portrait series called Health Care in the United States—1 theme in a broader project she’s called Art As Social Inquiry, through which she explores issues of social equity in the United States. Five examples of these portraits are published in the November 7 issue of JAMA. BrownGold says she hopes to draw people into each other’s lives and forge a human connection through art, with the hope that the project will help people develop more informed opinions and even bring enlightened policy solutions for resolving the nation’s rancorous health care debate.

Read the full profile and see more images with patient stories here.

Categories: Health Policy