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    For this assignment you are being asked to consider ethical issues in public health and health services. 2 pages

    1.Is health care a right or privilege in the United States?

    2. Are issues of ethical concern regulated and assessed adequately in the U.S. healthcare system? Why or why not? (2-3 paragraphs)

    For this assignment you are being asked to consider quality of care and performance measures.

    1.What is quality?

    2.Why is it important to measure quality of care?

    3.What do you believe is the most effective measure of quality and why?

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    Solution Preview

    1.Is health care a right or privilege in the United States?
    In the USA health care is not a privilege it is a right. The recent suggestion to banish the "Right to Health Care" does at least clarify who exactly some of the HCAO activists are trying to organize. The new slogan will likely be quite effective in organizing all health care economists of liberal persuasion across their state. Even assuming that they are successful in organizing both of these individuals to the UHC cause, we have to wonder what plan for action will follow.

    By contrast organizing around the "Right to Health Care" is straightforward, easy to grasp and appealing to the broadest swath of Americans. The simplicity of another acknowledged fundamental right similar to the "Right to Education" (K - 12) is powerful in its appeal. The parallel of the former concept to the latter also holds up under historical, philosophical and legal scrutiny. A wonderful thing about organizing around the concept of a "Right to Health Care" is that it is extremely useful in approaching the most disenfranchised and underprivileged in our society. It cannot be over emphasized that getting these communities themselves involved in the struggle for a new health care system brings a lot more than additional votes to the table. We need their input - we need a new health care system that will include everyone, which will provide access to everyone, which will not discourage the most vulnerable communities. We need this as part of restoring this nation to a vibrant democracy
    In the USA health care is not a privilege, it is a right.There is another very vital issue brought out in the reconsidered opinion for banishing the "Right To Health Care". The cited discussion explicitly argues that we have to steer clear of what could be perceived as promoting "entitlements". In the first place as activists trying to raise the public awareness and reach out to broader constituencies we need to recognize that this word is racially charged.
    Millions upon millions of people in the United States do not have health insurance. A report by Families USA states that approximately 81.8 million people under the age of 65 were without health insurance during all or part of 2002 and 2003 (www.familiesusa.org/site/DocServer/82million_uninsured_report.pdf?docID=3641).
    Health statistics tell an ugly story. At any given time about 35 million people in the U.S., one-seventh of the population, have no health care coverage. They are not covered by private insurance, employer-based insurance or government programs. Another 60 million people, including a large proportion of the elderly, do not have adequate coverage.

    In the USA health care is not a privilege, it is a right.In the U.S. we pay more for health care than other industrialized nations and get less for our money. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates the total cost of health care in the U.S. in 1992 to exceed $800 billion, 13% of the gross national product. These dollars and percentages are rising daily.

    Many people do not have health insurance and therefore go without basic health care. They see physicians less often and die younger than those with insurance. Even people with apparently good health insurance coverage have hidden vulnerabilities when faced with paying for expensive medical conditions. Catastrophic accidents or chronic long-term needs can bankrupt a family.

    Efforts at shifting costs among government agencies, private insurers, and individual payers drain enormous amounts of energy and attention, and create enormous additional bureaucratic and regulatory costs beyond the costs for the health care itself.

    2. Are issues of ethical concern regulated and assessed adequately in the U.S. healthcare system? Why or why not? (2-3 paragraphs)
    Given that we are currently attempting to manage scarce health care resources, a new area of ethical dilemmas has risen to the forefront. The subject of importance is that of the ethics of subscribing to "social worth" as a criterion for determining which patients receive expensive procedures. Is it ethical for health care providers to allocate organs and dialysis to those who are younger, healthier and more wholesome? For example, a long time alcoholic requires a liver transplant at the same time as a young child who has a congenital liver disorder (given organ availability and that histo compatibility is desirable for both). Can we favor one person over another? Is this ethical?
    With today's advanced medical technology, it would seem that somehow the plethora of life-saving procedures available would be able to address the needs of almost all the critically ill or injured, at least in the U.S. The method of allocating these resources, however, has only grown into an increasingly complicated and perplexing issue. Since ancient ...