The Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 and Ethical Issue


The Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 was established to ensure Americans get quality health care services regardless of their ages or income levels. It is important to understand the ethical issues surrounding this act to promote a socially responsible and healthy society. Knowledge of this topic helps individuals to understand the importance of the Act and the roles of different stakeholders in promoting its success. Health practitioners should understand the ethical bearings of this act to ensure they support the government, patients and organizations that provide medical insurance covers. However, the greatest problem facing the proper implementation of this policy is that there are numerous misconceptions about it. The public has not been given proper education regarding this policy, and that is why there is criticism from those that do not understand it.

The Ethical Issue

The 2012 Supreme Court’s decision that declared constitutional the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 was a significant event in the history of the United States. Stakeholders involved wanted to promote health ethics by ensuring that all Americans accessed affordable, high quality and reliable medical services. The Act ensures all Americans are involved in helping others to get proper medical services (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2011). Moreover, the establishment of this Act was a moral and ethical issue to ensure all Americans, regardless of their economic status, health or income levels accessed high-quality medical services. This topic is important because it helps people to understand that life is irreplaceable, and it should be protected and improved through the collective efforts of all members of the society.

Knowledge of the Ethical Issue about the Act

The Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 is a unique policy that focused on the responsibility of the government in improving the health and welfare of all Americans through their collective efforts (Brill, 2015). In addition, the moral aspect of this Act was to promote justice and equal access to health services without compromising their quality. Understanding the Act enables people to know how it plans to expand insurance coverage and reduce the costs of accessing medical facilities (Grace & Willis, 2012). It aims at targeting adults aged between 19-65 years because most of them are uninsured. The ethical goals of this act help people to understand that the government wants to provide affordable, high-quality health care, freedom of choice and community participation in sharing the costs and benefits of subsidized services.

Literature Review

The American College of Emergency Physicians argues that the benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act are not aimed at only involving the rich in reducing the costs of medical covers, but also enabling them to enjoy its benefits (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2011). In addition, the college supports the ethical views presented by Steven Brill, who argued that the Act’s provisions ensure the burden of health care services is shared by all Americans (Brill, 2015). Lastly, it promotes the understanding that equality in the provision of medical services should not violate the rights of individuals regardless of their ages, race or financial status.

Lance Gable argued that the President Barrack Obama’s administration faced criticism from opponents of the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 because they did not know its appropriateness. In addition, he believes the act establishes a new norm and social order that ensures all Americans are involved in improving their health care system (Gable, 2011). His argument is supported by the Supreme Court’s ruling that nobody should be denied access to basic health care regardless of the person’s age, income level or race.

John Rawls claimed that political and ethical philosophies help all members of the society to help each other in fighting for their rights (Brill, 2015). John Cuneo supported this view and argued that it is not sufficient for a society to be moral; therefore, there should be ethical issues that guide people’s behavior to make their lives better. His sentiments support the ethical issues that this act promotes (Rawls, 1971).

Thomas M. Knadig believed that all citizens have a right to access high-quality services. However, the society has a moral responsibility of ensuring its members are treated fairly. Every person should take care of the welfare of the society and stop focusing on individualistic gains (Knadig, 2011). The scholar’s opinion supports the suitability of this act in ensuring the rich and poor enjoy the services offered by their government.

Importance of the Knowledge

Knowledge of this topic is important because it helps people to understand the various health care insurance plans available for them (American College of Emergency Physicians, 2011). It helps the poor and aged people to identify ways of accessing medical insurance covers that suit their income. President Barrack Obama’s administration planned to improve access to affordable health care and ensure 30 million of the uninsured 47 million people have medical covers by 2014 (Brill, 2015). A good illustration is the increase in the insured population living in semi-urban regions.


People should understand the importance of the ethical issues regarding the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010. People should know that health care is a basic need, and it cannot be compromised. Americans should work together to improve the welfare of their kinsmen. All stakeholders should play their roles in ensuring nobody suffers due to financial problems, pre-existing illness or old age yet this act provides different avenues for addressing these challenges. The health of Americans is of paramount importance to the government, private organizations and all citizens.


American College of Emergency Physicians. (2011). Ethics of Health Care Reform: Issues in Emergency- Medicine- An Information Paper. Web.

Brill, S. (2015). America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System. New York: Random House.

Gable, L. (2011). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, public health, and the elusive target of human rights. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 39(3), 340-354.

Grace, P. J. & Willis, D. G. (2012).Nursing responsibilities and social justice: An analysis in support of disciplinary goals. Nursing Outlook, 60(4), 198-207.

Knadig, T. (2011). The Spirituality and Ethics Underlying the Affordable Care Act. Web.

Rawls, J. (1971). A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University.