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Ability-to-Pay Impact on Healthcare Level

The idea of delivering the services of the best quality possible is central to the philosophy of any healthcare facility. However, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has set certain limitations concerning the quality of care for the U.S. citizen depending on their income. Although the idea of healthcare service quality being correlated to the amount of money provided by a patient seems logical, it does not align with the primary principles of healthcare ethics, which state that it is crucial to strive for the well-being of a patient.

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Seeing that, for low-income customers, the quality of healthcare services may be low, their outcomes may turn out to be worse than those of the patients with higher incomes. Furthermore, the promotion of the income-based differentiation between community members is likely to tear the very fabric of the value system adopted by healthcare experts. In other words, from an ethical perspective, the ability to pay must not define the quality of services that healthcare practitioners offer to their customers (Hammaker, ‎Knadig, ‎& Tomlinson, 2016).

Thus, the concept of healthcare service quality being in direct proportion to the financial capacity of a patient, while being legally reasonable, does not meet the standards of ethics upheld by modern healthcare practitioners. To manage the problem successfully, one should consider investing in the development of the healthcare industry so that the prices for healthcare services should be homogenous, and that the services in question should be available to everyone. As a result, the foundation for equal treatment of patients can be built (Bognar & Hirose, 2014).


Bognar, G., & Hirose, I. (2014). The ethics of health care rationing: An introduction. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hammaker, ‎D. K., Knadig, ‎T. M., & Tomlinson, S. J. (2016). Health care ethics and the law. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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