Ethics of Health
The Ethics of Health Care Reform: Issues in Emergency - Medicine - An Information Paper
Health care reform brings to the fore numerous important ethical issues.  The recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 has fueled ethical debate over several controversial topics.  This paper describes the basic provisions of the PPACA of 2010 and addresses important ethical issues of health care reform, including the moral foundations of reform, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Code of Ethics as a guiding document, and health care reform’s likely effects on cost containment, public health, access to care, ED crowding, and end of life issues.
Basic Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, P.L. 111-148/152    
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a federal statute signed into law along with its amendment, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, by President Obama in March 2010.[i]  It is designed to take effect in stages over the next 8 years and includes reforms such as prohibiting insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, expanding Medicaid eligibility, subsidizing insurance premiums, and providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits.  It encourages states to create health insurance exchanges where uninsured adults or small businesses can buy insurance from a range of private insurers.  Large businesses will have to pay penalties for their employees who receive subsidized health insurance from insurance exchanges, but they are not required to provide insurance for their employees.   There is also a requirement for the individual purchase of health insurance, a subject of a major challenge to its constitutionality.  The PPACA also provides for the creation several bodies, including a National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council;  the...