Benchmarks of Fairness for Health Care Reform

Benchmarks of Fairness for Health Care Reform

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Health care services are rapidly changing in ways that seem increasingly inaccessible and unfair to millions of Americans. Yet what does "unfair" mean and how should our system be changed to make it more "fair"? This book addresses these probing questions by providing a universal definition of fairness and a set of criteria to measure which health care reform policies are more fair and why. The book comprises the efforts of a leading moral philosopher of health care, an internationally known sociologist of health care systems, and a health economist who join forces to transpose for the first time the universal moral concept. Through examples, they show how leaders and experts in various realms of public policy could develop criteria for applying concepts of moral philosophy to different fields. The book is original and controversial because it actually scores four major proposals for health care reform that exemplify the most prevalent ideas of the 1990s in state and national circles. Although some reform ideas fare much better than others, the author finds all proposals wanting, especially in establishing open, democratic procedures for deciding the limits of care. The authors give special attention to what market-based reforms need to do to be fair to everyone. They also assess the current changes brought on by the rapid growth of managed care systems since the collapse of national reform. Benchmarks of Fairness should be read by every citizen, physician, nurse, employer and politician who wants to educate themselves about fairness and who is interested in assessing the fairness of health care reforms.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 163.6 x 243.8 x 22.1mm | 552.39g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195102371
  • 9780195102376

Back cover copy

These benchmarks of fairness represent the first time that a concept in moral philosophy has been transposed into a usable policy tool for scoring alternative proposals. The authors show how concerned members of the public and policy makers can use the benchmarks by actually scoring four major proposals for health care reform that exemplify the most prevalent ideas of the 1990s in state and national debates. The authors pay particular attention to the problems of fairness in reforms that rely on competition. Although some reform ideas fare much better that others, all are found weak in establishing open, democratic procedures for deciding the limits of care. They also assess the current changes brought on by the rapid growth of managed care systems since the collapse of national reform.show more

Review quote

provides a framework that facilitates debate and understanding and clarifies what social values are at stake in the complex details of health policy * International Social Security Review, Vol. 51, 1/98 *show more

About Norman Daniels

Norman Daniels, Ph.D., is Goldthwaite Professor of Philosophy and Medical Ethics at Tufts University. Donald W. Light, Ph.D., is Professor of Social and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Ronald L. Caplan, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Public Health at Richard Stockton State College.show more

Table of contents

1. Fairness and the Politics of Health Care reform ; 2. American Values and the Fairness of Health Care Reform ; 3. Benchmarks of Fairness ; 4. Using the Benchmarks to Score Insurance Reform ; 5. Using the Benchmarks to Score Health Care Reform ; 6. Reorganization or Reform? The Fairness of Current Trends ; 7. Prospects for Fair Reform ; Referencesshow more

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