Ethical Challenges in the Era If Health Care Reform

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Ethics, Law, and Policy Vicki D. Lachman Ethical Challenges in the Era Of Health Care Reform n truth, the United States is at the beginning of a long overdue and a much needed health care reform. We have seen the dismal statistics about our high cost health care system and some of the less than stellar outcomes (e.g., infant mortality) (Callahan, 2011; World Health Organization [WHO], 2011)). The purpose of this article is not to complain about the current health care system, but instead to focus on existing reform efforts — The Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the ethical justifications for its creation, and ethical challenges it brings. I Key Features of the Law ACA offers new ways for…show more content…
The following rights and consumer protections are available. Preventive care. Individuals may not have to pay a copayment, co-insurance, or deductible to receive recommended preventive health services, such as screenings (e.g., mammograms and colonoscopies), vaccinations (e.g. measles, polio, or meningitis), and counseling (e.g., smoking cessation, weight loss, healthy eating). Doctor choice and ER access. Individuals can choose any available participating primary care provider and they can access out-of-network emergency rooms without prior approval. ACA prohibits health plans from requiring a referral from a primary care provider before women can seek coverage for obstetrical or gynecological (OBGYN) care. People 65 and older. ACA offers eligible elders a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing. ACA also provides discounts on drugs when older adults are in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.” July-August 2012 • Vol. 21/No. 4 Ethical Challenges in the Era of Health Care Reform TABLE 1. Views of Liberal Egalitarians vs. Libertarians and Free-Market Advocates Liberal Egalitarians Libertarians and Free-Market Advocates Health care is a fundamental good and access to this good Role of government is confined to protecting the freedom of all allows us to become full members of society. persons to choose their own goals and means to pursue them. This right to health care must
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