Bioethics Blogs

Imminent Threats To Healthcare and Medical Professionalism: We Must Remain Vigilant

In a previous blog
I expressed concerns about the possible direction of politics in our country
and the risks it poses to the larger procedural, democratic framework, which I
take to be essential to the work of contemporary bioethics. Now that the
election is over and a new administration is taking shape, I have many grave concerns
about the fundamentally new policy directions our nation will be taking. None
concern me more than how the planned changes in our healthcare system in the
United States and, if they happen, how our most vulnerable patients will be
affected. This is because a top agenda for them on day one will be to repeal
the Affordable
Care Act
(ACA), which has provided healthcare coverage for about 21 million
more people since its inception in 2009.

The ACA was an imperfect healthcare plan from the start. But
after decades of false starts to reform a system that does not have a close second
in terms of excessive costs and inefficiencies among industrialized nations, especially
in relation to outcomes, in 2009 it was the best option our country had at that
time. In spite of some problems in its implementation, due largely to lack of
cooperation and critics setting up obstacles, the ACA has become entrenched
into our healthcare system. If it is repealed, there will be widespread
suffering and chaos. Just recently
the nations’ hospital industry “…warned President-elect Donald Trump and
congressional leaders on Tuesday that repealing the Affordable Care Act could
cost hospitals $165 billion by the middle of the next decade and trigger “an
unprecedented public health crisis.”

 The eagerness of the new administration to gut the ACA was
affirmed by the appointment of Tom Price, Representative from Georgia who has
been a ferocious and over the top critic of this law from its inception.

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.