BP#7: Health Care Coverage For All?


The healthcare marketplace put fourth by Barack Obama is currently in a struggling battle with insurers. Bigger companies such as Aetna and Humana are refusing to stay in the marketplace pool. They are just loosing way too much money making it hard to cover patients or provide adequate care.

However, I believe we can compare the whole Affordable Care Act to utilitarianism. Meaning we must carry out actions that are right because of the happiness it brings to the majority. What I mean is that if we provide healthcare to all then happiness or well-being will flourish.

A huge issue present in the utilitarian ideals is the fact of being impartial to ones own well-being. The most optimific action may not be the best for yourself personally. In the marketplace insurance, the healthier patients are paying for the sick. This means it is optimific to the outcome for the greater good but too demanding on one who is not sick. Paying for others to be sick when you are perfectly healthy. Is it really worth it all?

In class we discussed utilitarianism in relation to organ transplants. If a medical doctor has five patients in need of five different organs and a healthy traveler passes through their clinic is it “utilitarian” to kill that healthy patient to save five? But then the consequences from that would not be beneficial to the majority if the five saved ended up to be serial killers or the general public became afraid to seek medical attention. Would the public believe you went to the doctors to die?

This being said, the Affordable Care Act seems demanding on those who do not require such services but it may also be too demanding to put such standards on only a few companies. One company can not be in charge of providing coverage for all. That may turn into a supererogatory act.

If the Affordable Care Act could be renamed or compared to any ethical concept I believe it would go hand in hand with most utilitarian “rules” or guidelines.


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