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Covering Health Care Needs

Covering Health Care Needs

The dominance of employer-sponsored health insurance in the United States raises many ethical concerns and problems. This system creates disparities in access to healthcare based on employment status. It leaves those without jobs or part-time positions susceptible to inadequate or no coverage. For example, gig economy workers often lack comprehensive insurance, compromising their well-being (Wong, 2020). Additionally, this model ties healthcare to employment. This limits individuals’ professional mobility and forces them to remain in jobs solely for insurance benefits. This not only limits personal freedom but also perpetuates job lock. It hinders entrepreneurial pursuits and innovation. Moreover, the employer-driven system can lead to unequal access to care, as the quality of coverage varies between companies. Some corporations offer extensive coverage, while others only offer minimal plans. This leads to a two-tiered healthcare system where employees of rich firms receive superior care compared to those at smaller establishments. Furthermore, the profit motive underlying private insurance can encourage denials of necessary medical treatments to cut costs. For instance, insurers might decline coverage for certain procedures, medications, or pre-existing conditions. Individuals’ ability to receive essential care will be hindered. In this way, the dominance of employer-sponsored health insurance perpetuates socioeconomic inequities. It also undermines the ethical principles of universal access, patient autonomy, and impartiality in healthcare. This makes a compelling case for re-evaluation and potential reform of the American healthcare system.

The government has implemented certain reform actions to address the ethical concerns stemming from the dominant employer-sponsored health insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted in 2010, aimed to broaden access to healthcare. It mandates that larger employers offer health insurance to their employees (Lennon, 2021). It also established health insurance marketplaces where individuals can purchase coverage independently. This has alleviated some disparities in access and reduced the impact of job lock. Individuals can now explore job opportunities without fear of losing essential coverage. Moreover, the ACA introduced regulations that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. This ensures that patients receive necessary treatments without illogical exclusions. Additionally, the ACA-facilitated Medicaid expansion has extended coverage to low-income individuals and families. This has addressed some of the inequalities in the system. While these reforms have made strides in alleviating ethical concerns, challenges persist. Further actions like public option proposals or transitioning towards a government-backed universal healthcare system could enhance accessibility, equity, and patient autonomy. These actions will reduce the effect of profit motives and employment status on healthcare provision.

The ethical principle of justice is about the fair and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities within society (Creary, 2021). In the setting of the United States healthcare system, justice plays a vital role. It ensures that all individuals have equal access to medical care. This is regardless of their socioeconomic status or employment situation. However, the dominance of employer-sponsored health insurance in the United States creates inherent disparities. Access to healthcare is associated with an individual’s job and the benefits provided by their employer. This system can result in situations where individuals with better job opportunities receive more comprehensive coverage. However, those with less lucrative jobs struggle to access necessary medical services. For instance, an employee at a large corporation might have access to a wide range of medical treatments and services. Conversely, a part-time worker or an employee of a small business might face limitations in their coverage. This misalignment with the principle of justice highlights the need for reforms. There is a need to ensure that healthcare access is not dependent on employment status. Healthcare access should also not be dependent on employer choices. Rather, it should be a universal right accessible to all, irrespective of one’s economic circumstances.


Creary, M. S. (2021). Bounded justice and the limits of health equity. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 49(2), 241-256.

Lennon, C. (2021). Did the Affordable Care Act increase the availability of employer‐sponsored health insurance? Southern Economic Journal.

Wong, S. I. (2020). The future of work, digital labor, and business legitimacy. Handbook of Business Legitimacy: Responsibility, Ethics and Society, 1347-1358.


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Assignment Details
Unit 4 – Discussion Board (75 points)
Due: Thu, Aug 17 |
Primary Discussion Response is due by Thursday (11:59:59pm Central), Peer Responses are due by Saturday (11:59:59pm Central).

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

Covering Health Care Needs

Covering Health Care Needs

In most other countries in the world, the government plays a central role in covering health care needs; however, in the United States, the private sector (in the form of employer-sponsored health insurance) serves as the dominant form of medical coverage. For this assignment, discuss the following:

Describe and discuss some of the ethical concerns or problems that exist because of the dominant form of employer-sponsored health insurance.
Discuss reform actions that the U.S. government has taken to reduce the ethical concerns or problems that you discussed.
Define the ethical principle of justice, and discuss its role in the U.S. healthcare system.
Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100–200-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:

What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’ postings?
For assistance with your assignment, please use your textbook and all course resources.

Discussion Board Rubric

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