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Daniel Skinner, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Health Policy

Department of Social Medicine

Ohio University, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dublin, Ohio



Daniel Skinner, Ph.D

My scholarly interests include health care politics and policy; the politics of medicine and disease; the history of political thought; and feminist theory. Currently, I am completing a book manuscript, entitled The Politics of Medical Necessity. With a target date for completion in 2014, the manuscript marshals a range of theoretical resources—from political theory to legal proceedings to readings of HMO policy guides—to analyze the role that the concept of “medical necessity” plays in shaping medical priorities and clinical decision-making. In taking an historically-informed and analytically-expansive view, the book considers how political inheritances—such as classical liberalism’s embrace of markets, the biopolitical implications of enlightenment thinking about the body, and a certain and narrow view of "the medical"—have prefigured contemporary health care debates, particularly concerning the utilization of often-scarce resources. Through a critical examination of Americans’ most basic assumptions about patients' needs, my research enables theorists, policy makers, and political advocates to rethink the role that medical necessity plays in American health care. It also shows the stakes—medically, ethically, and politically—of not doing so.

I am also in the process of developing a series of papers that critically explore various policy dynamics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including post-colonial and feminist readings of the ACA; the politics of "the founders" in ACA debates; the fate of pediatric delivery systems after health care reform; and the ACA's cultural competency provisions, particularly as concerns LGBT care and access issues concerning non-English speakers.

Among my most recent publications are "Defining Medical Necessity Under the Affordable Care Act," Public Administration Review (2013); “Unsought Responsibility: The Politics of Passive Writing in Constitutional Law,” co-authored with Steven Pludwin, Polity (forthcoming, 2013); "Eminent Domain and the Rhetorical Construction of Sovereign Necessity," co-authored with Leonard Feldman, Law, Culture, and the Humanities (2012); and "The Politics of Medical Necessity in American Abortion Debates," Politics & Gender 8: 1-24 (2012). (View Abstracts). For more details and to read articles, see my page.

In April 2014 I will present some work for my second planned book at the annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association. The paper, entitled "Reading the Affordable Care Act as a Postcolonial Document" explores the myriad ways in which the ACA gestures toward and seeks to address historical inequities issuing from the U.S.'s colonial past (and present), especially health inequities facing Native Americans.

I am excited to have established a faculty affiliation with OU's Women's and Gender Studies Program, and to have joined the Ohio Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau. See my page on the the OHC web site for details on the latter.