Obamacare and Healthcare Reform Ethical Challenges

Ethical Challenges

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act involves several ethical issues connected with failing to protect some of the most fundamental rights, including the individual’s rights to abortion. This defect in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not only unable to correct the past mistakes linked to the person’s right to perform an abortion, but also created new ways for some federal subsidies of the elective abortions (Donovan, 2001, p. 61).

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The ethical reasons for promoting a health care reform is based primarily on the justification for a change, especially because of the limited access to health care services both for insured and uninsured individuals. Moreover, doctors and nurses face ethical dilemmas connected to the health care reforms. With the limitations in the area of reimbursements, many doctors are starting to opt out of the medical networks that force them to lose tight connections with patients that they have known for many years. Instead, doctors are made to rely on the government exchanges for patients. On the bright side, patients are able to stand against the conflict of interests that was created by Obamacare. Patients are able to ask their doctors to limit some aspects of the care as well as ask for additional test and treatments (Hsieh, 2014, para. 20).

The requirements for electronic records can be a significant moral challenge for confidentiality of the patients. Despite the fact that such an innovation is a major step in facilitating the proper treatment decisions, privacy remains an issue. Doctors and nurses should try to reassure the patients of the confidentiality of the medical records in order to sustain the innovation that can be very beneficial when it comes to health care.

Nurses’ Obligations

According to the American Nurses Association (2001), nurses are obliged to work collectively or individually with the help of political action in order to achieve some social changes. The responsibility of nurses to contribute to the health care changes requires voicing opinions and concerns about the individuals that are being rejected by the system (p. 25). Moreover, American Nurse Association (2001) states that nurses “should respect the worth, dignity and rights of all human beings irrespective of the nature of the health problem” (p. 7).

Solving Ethical Issues

Providing ethics experts that nurses and clinicians can talk to is a solution that can help in looking at an ethical issue from different perspectives. Because nurses always managed the conflicts that arise in the health care environment, all staff members should be able to reach out and receive some consultations. Ethics experts can ask questions about the nurses’ concerns or values that relate to particular patients or medical practice as a whole. Moreover, experts can help with focusing on what went well, whether the patient was treated with respect. In addition, counselling services can help those nurses who are heavily troubled by ethical issues is something that can rekindle past events (Wood, 2014, para. 30).


To conclude, nurses alongside with nursing associations are faced with the ethical challenges that need to be eliminated in order to ensure the sustainability of the health care system. The main solution is nurses being advocates to those who have very little rights in voicing their opinions, those who become discriminated against because of the absence of medical insurance or because of their health status (Lachman, 2012, p. 245).


American Nurses Association (ANA). (2001). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretative statements. Silver Spring, MD: Author.

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Donovan, C. (2011). Obamacare and the Ethics of Life: Weakening Conscience and the Protection of Life. Web.

Hsieh, P. (2014). How ObamaCare Creates Ethical Conflicts for Physicians and How Patients Can Protect Themselves. Web.

Lachman, V. (2012). Ethical Challenges in the Era of Health Care Reform. Medsurg Nursing 21(4), 245-248.

Wood, D. (2014). 10 Best Practices for Addressing Ethical Issues and Moral Distress. Web.

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