Inequality of access to health care in the United States. Socioeconomic status, whether assessed by income, education, or occupation, is linked to a wide range of health problems, including low birthweight, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Lower socioeconomic status is associated with higher mortality, and the greatest disparities occur in middle adulthood.
Widening economic inequality in the USA has been accompanied by increasing disparities in health outcomes. The life expectancy of the wealthiest Americans now exceeds that of the poorest by 10–15 years. This report, part of a Series on health and inequality in the USA, focuses on how the health-care system, which could reduce income-based disparities in health, instead often exacerbates them. Other articles in this Series address population health inequalities, and the health effects of racism, mass incarceration, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Poor Americans have worse access to care than do wealthy Americans, partly because many remain uninsured despite coverage expansions since 2010 due to the ACA. For individuals with private insurance, rising premiums and cost sharing have undermined wage gains and driven many households into debt and even bankruptcy.
Inequality of access
This discussion presents the opportunity for you to address the inequality of access to health care in the United States using moral and ethical reasoning. There is overwhelming evidence that social inequalities affect health outcomes. Many argue that lack of health care access due to poverty is a human rights concern in the United States that should be subject to public and social justice inquiry. As such, the Affordable Care Act was implemented to promote health equity. While there are some that have reported favorable outcomes with respect to health care access, others have reported unfavorable experiences.
What is your perspective on the ethics of providing universal health care to all U.S. citizens, and how well do you think the Affordable Care Act has addressed this cause? Prepare an academically-informed post to address this question. In doing so, consider both the ethical and moral reasons for supporting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and also a possible shortfall or problem with this policy. You may talk about your own experiences but must also use academic research to support your arguments.