Ethics in Healthcare

Topics: Universal health care, Health care, Health economics Pages: 6 (2086 words) Published: November 24, 2013


Ethical Obligations and Health Care

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is commonly referred to as Obamacare. President Obama signed this federal statue into effect in March 2010. There are many provisions in this statue including the mandate requiring all US citizens to have health care coverage. On June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court Uphold the Individual Mandate. Chief Justice Roberts voted to up held the mandate the provision which requires citizens to buy health care insurance or pay a penalty. Robert’s decision created the majority ruling approving the mandate as a tax.

Although the Supreme Court upholds the Individual Mandate for Health Care it does not answer the question if it’s ethical. The general consensus holds that societies today have a responsibility to ensure all members of the society have access to the medical care they need. ObamaCare provides a way for existing private resources and the individual participate in government transactions. This will increase the federal government regulation of private health care coverage. E. Haislmaier, March 2013.

The consensus among the stakeholders is there are four ethical obligations regarding access to health care. The Hasting Center Report in 2007 defined these four obligations as the following: 1. Every Member of Society Have Adequate Health Care Benefits 2. The Contents and Limits Must be Established Through Ethical Process 3. The Healthcare System Must Be Sustainable

4. Stakeholders in the Health Care system known their responsibilities and be accountable Michael Hartwig, 2011, “states that health care is an investment in the shared well -being and productivity of our communities which in turn, foster more opportunity and well-being for individuals.” He further points out the work of Wilkinson and Pickett show societies with poorer health care outcomes for the poor but for all in the society. Vicki Lachman, PhD ,2012 writes the United States is the only developed nation in the world without that does not guarantee health coverage. She goes on to suggest that health care coverage for all members of society allows members to be fully functioning making the society better for all. Although the Libertarians advocate for the Free-Market since the individual has free will and personal responsibility for their actions. Thus health care is an option and should not be funded. The Libertarians argue why treatments they do not believe in be reimbursed. Maggie Maher, 2008 in her essay writes low-income people are more likely to be obese, smoke, drink and abuse drugs. She explains the reason for this is due to living healthy is expensive, the stress of being poor and having little control of their life leads many to self-medicate. This explains why the poor are sicker and die prematurely of treatable conditions. Libertarians who view this as low-income individuals should learn how to take care of themselves. For this statue to be considered ethical in providing for all members to have access to adequate care efforts need to be made to ensure those currently underserved see measurably improved health care. Those with disadvantaged access now are self- employed individuals, low-wage earners, the homeless, those with pre-existing conditions, the disabled, mentally ill and individuals with poor English skills. Currently, those with the greatest needs have the most difficulty obtaining coverage. Mark Levine, 2007 The new health care opportunities will need to establish what services are to be covered and under what circumstances. Opponents will refer to this as rationing. Whatever name it is called it is necessary due to limited resources but it can be done ethically, EthicalForce.org, 2006. The process of setting limits in an ethical manner will require acceptance of five expectations. The full transparency for establishing and administering health care benefits to those it will impact. All stakeholder...

Cited: Goodman, John. “Is there a Moral Case for Obamacare?”Health Alerts (2011) p1-2.
July 20, 2013 http://healthblog.ncpa.org
Haislmaier Edmund, “The Complexities of Providing Health Insurance.” Heritage
Foundation, February 25, 2013
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