“Part of being Canadian is having access to health care”: Framing the boundaries of healthcare deservingness for non-citizens through the Interim Federal Health Benefits Plan

Paloma E. Villegas, Jenna Blower

Abstract


In June 2012, the Canadian government cut eligibility to the Interim Federal Health Benefits Program (IFHP) for some refugees and refugee claimants.  Drawing from news sources covering the cuts, this paper examines the ways different actors—politicians and advocates—framed deservingness and undeservingness to support or contest the IFHP cuts.  Deservingness refers to the ways value or worth is allocated to differently situated individuals based on their social location.  We explore how deservingness is understood through a lens of citizenship, focusing on immigration status, understandings of “illegality”, and the criminalization of non-citizens.  Our findings demonstrate that varying versions of “Canadian Values” influenced the framing of the cuts. We argue that through this process both sides of the debate participated in the drawing and redrawing of boundaries of social and moral worth in relation to both presence and access to social goods in Canada.     


Keywords


Frame Analysis; Immigration Policy; Health Care; Deservingness; Refugees

Full Text: PDF HTML


DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2019v44n1a3280

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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