American Health Care

American Health Care : Realities, Rights and Reforms

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This book provides a moral evaluation of American health care. It is in three main parts: a review and analysis of conditions bearing on access to quality health care, a philosophical analysis and defence of the concept of a moral right to health care, and a discussion of various policy alternatives for reform of the US system for delivering health care. The first chapter demonstrates that many Americans, especially among blacks, persons from low income families, and those with less education, are underserved by the present system. Persons in these groups have significantly worse health characteristics than other Americans. Do these persons have a right to health care? If so, to what kinds of care and how much? In part two, four contemporary theories of justice and of peoples' rights - utilitarianism, egalitarianism, libertarianism, and contractarianism - are examined and their implications for a right to health care described. Each theory is then discussed in terms of a right to health care that encompasses non-interference with one's health, primary care, curative care under some circumstances, and the freedom to buy additional health care not guaranteed by right.
What is to be done? This is the central question of the third part, which examines and evaluates alternative directions for reform of the American health care system.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 236 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 17.78mm | 294.83g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195052714
  • 9780195052718

Table of contents

REALITIES: Some American health care realities - access to needed care, quality of care, rising costs; RIGHTS: A right to health care - the concept of a right, for and against a right to health care; Utilitarianism - optimal consequences, prudent insurance; Egalitarianism - equal intrinsic value, substantive equality; Libertarianism - liberty and ownership, compensatory rights; Contractarianism - the social contract, liberty, opportunity and wealth; Plural
foundations - proof and persons, four health care rights, rights, charity, and ideals; REFORMS: Market reforms - pure competition, a hobbled market; DRGs, HMOs, and vouchers - price controls, prepaid group practice, cash and voucher plans; National health care plans - Medicare and Medicaid, national health
insurance, a national health care service; Conclusion.
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Review quote

'Altogether a most impressive work, which deserves to be widely read.'
A.W. Macara, University of Bristol, British Medical Journal
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