Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Survival of U.S. Affordable Care Act assessed in new commentaries

Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
The Hastings Center
Summary:
As the presidential candidates clash over the fate of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, a set of seven essays by leading legal experts, economists, and scholars examines the implications of the Supreme Court's decision on the ACA and makes it clear that there is no consensus about what is economically or morally just when it comes to health care coverage in this country.

As the presidential candidates clash over the fate of the Affordable Care Act, a set of seven essays by leading legal experts, economists, and scholars examines the implications of the Supreme Court's decision on the ACA and makes it clear that there is no consensus about what is economically or morally just when it comes to health care coverage in this country. The essays appear in the Hastings Center Report.

Related Articles


While the essays provide a range of perspectives, a few common themes emerge. Foremost among them is that the individual mandate may not work as it stands.

Mark A. Hall, a professor of law and public health at Wake Forest University, argues that the Court "significantly weakened the individual mandate" by allowing Americans to opt out of insurance coverage if they are willing to pay a tax. This tax penalty leaves the mandate vulnerable because Congress could repeal it through the budget reconciliation process, he says.

Mark V. Pauly, of the Wharton School of Business, offers a contrasting view. While he supports the idea of a mandate, he is concerned that in its present form it may not achieve its goal of getting as many people as possible to buy insurance because the penalty for not doing so is too low -- for some groups, far less than the annual cost of premiums. Pauly also raises the possibility that the mandate could increase health care costs by increasing the number of procedures that the government requires insurers to cover.

Other essays raise concerns about costs. To be fair, writes Paul T. Menzel, a philosopher at Pacific Lutheran University, mandated insurance must be for care that is disciplined and cost-effective. "The cost-control provisions include some laudable next steps but are generally weak," he concludes.

James Stacey Taylor, an associate professor of philosophy at The College of New Jersey, states that the ACA's benevolent appearance is deceptive and that it is "neither economically sound nor morally acceptable." He argues that simply implementing the law will require "a small army of lawyers and bureaucrats," which will raise health care costs.

Several other essays examine what is morally acceptable in the health care arena. While none of them makes a moral case for health reform as a question about an individual's right to health care, they discuss other relevant values: responsibility, community, sympathy, and stewardship. Len M. Nichols, a health economist, professor of health policy, and director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, focuses on stewardship over health care resources, arguing that all Americans should be assured adequate health care. Although the challenges are great, Nichols suggests we now have the opportunity to remake our health care system into one that serves everyone. Those who oppose the government's role in attaining this goal are willing to stand by while tens of millions of Americans live without health care, he says. "A society that aspires to morality aims higher than that, and our Supreme Court has, by the narrowest of margins, allowed us to continue to dream big," Nichols writes.

William M. Sage, a professor and Vice Provost for Health Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Law, notes that the Supreme Court decision emphasizes the value of protecting personal liberty from government dominion, but in doing so both highlights the absence of solidarity around health reform and magnifies the importance of developing it.

Timothy Stolzfus Jost, who holds the Robert L. Willett Family Professorship of Law at Washington and Lee University, concludes his essay with a statement that might represent the only true consensus about health care reform: "The struggle for the soul of health insurance in the United States may be far from over."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hastings Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Mark A. Hall. The Affordable Care Act Survives, for Now. Hastings Center Report, 13 SEP 2012 DOI: 10.1002/hast.67
  2. Mark V. Pauly. Lessons to Improve the Efficiency and Equity of Health Reform. Hastings Center Report, 13 SEP 2012 DOI: 10.1002/hast.71

Cite This Page:

The Hastings Center. "Survival of U.S. Affordable Care Act assessed in new commentaries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024133407.htm>.
The Hastings Center. (2012, October 24). Survival of U.S. Affordable Care Act assessed in new commentaries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024133407.htm
The Hastings Center. "Survival of U.S. Affordable Care Act assessed in new commentaries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024133407.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins