Bioethics Blogs

The people who don’t deserve health care

By all accounts, since the beginning of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare), many previously uninsured people now have medical insurance. The ACA has expanded access to health care. However, many millions still do not have medical insurance: some by choice, but many because they still can’t afford it, even under the provisions of the ACA. And there are many others who now have insurance, but still can’t afford health care.

It is these latter groups, the ones that can’t afford insurance or health care, that particularly interest me here. Because these are the ones who by design of the law cannot afford health care. The law was written, deliberated, and passed with the full knowledge that as it was implemented, some people still would not have access to anything except emergency health care. The law excludes these people from access to health care.

Who deserves not to have access to health care? The unemployed? Those employed at minimum-wage jobs? Undocumented immigrants? “Welfare Moms”? Black inner-city families? Drug addicts? Lazy thugs?

Whoever it is, we as a nation — our government — obviously believe that some people don’t deserve access to health care. Otherwise we wouldn’t enshrine in law a health-care delivery system that doesn’t deliver health care to everybody.

And will a health care reform plan constituted by the two words “Repeal Obamacare” do any better?

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.