Healthcare reforms are made to improve access to healthcare services and medicines as well as their quality. Unfortunately, in some situations, they fail to meet these requirements and lead to conflicts instead.
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Inequality of Access
Healthcare services and medicines in the US are rather costly that is why the majority of the population buys insurance. Different plans are believed to be appropriate for diverse populations. Obamacare is said to improve access to healthcare, making insurance more affordable by simplifying enrollment for Medicare and Medicaid. Described intentions seem to be rather positive, however, such actions just divide the population into groups, as uninsured and underinsured individuals still exist. In the framework of a moral and ethical perspective, healthcare services are to be available to everyone.
The fact that someone can decide who can have insurance and who cannot raise the ethical issue of inequality related to access to healthcare. Implemented reforms are claimed to improve the situation, but no substantial changes are noticed yet. People still need to enroll for additional programs (where they are required to belong to some population like veterans, etc.) or to buy insurance themselves.
Healthcare services are to be affordable so that people can have an opportunity to afford at least decent treatment, housing, and nutrition. Some family policies that allowed parents and children to obtain required care and were not very expensive were canceled with the development of reforms (Sullivan, 2012). The range of provided services altered along with the price. As a result, the consumers are to define whether they will pay for a new policy or will allocate the money to other needs. Such change turned into prevention that does not allow the public to make the best choice and continue living as usual.
Especially, poor families face issues because they cannot pay more and are unwilling to receive less. The family is one’s home and support, but the necessity to choose may divide them and affect the situation adversely. The fact that affordable act turned out to cause more problems proves that it is not decent yet. Except for that, the costs increased because the population is spoiling its health by tobacco, alcohol, and fast food, causing epidemics. Costs rise during the crisis as the demand rises.
Finally, conflicts that happen in physicians’ practice should be discussed. Healthcare reform was made to take under control the fee for service system and prevent professionals from prescribing unneeded tests and treatment. When being paid for the provided services, some physicians ordered more than needed, receiving an opportunity to increase their income. As bundled payments started to be used, the situation altered (Hsieh, 2014).
Doctors receive the fixed sum of money that depends on the illness. Thus, one’s income is influenced by the diagnosis made but not by the range of services. In this situation, some physicians decide to save their efforts and reduce the amount of treatment, which can have an adverse influence on the patient’s health outcome.
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Thus, it can be seen that the affordable care act seemed to provide more opportunities for the representatives of the general public, but some of its peculiarities turned out to cause conflicts with ethics. They deal with the access to healthcare services (that is supposed to be equal among diverse populations); healthcare costs (that should be low enough for poor and middle-class populations to afford other goods and services); and physician payment (that should reflect one’s professionalism and diligence).
Hsieh, P. (2014). How ObamaCare creates ethical conflicts for physicians and how patients can protect themselves. Web.
Sullivan, D. (2012). The ethics of Obamacare: A post-election perspective. Web.