Why is it important to provide health care coverage for the groups Medicare covers? Should employers be required to fund retirees’ health care costs? Should some services be exempt from Medicare coverage? Should states be able to exercise their police powers to protect their citizens from the predatory marketing practices of private Medicare-managed care plans, known as Medicare Advantage, and private prescription drug plans? The population of people over sixty-five is growing rapidly with the entry of the baby boom generation. Many are still in good health and able to do work. Why should they be qualified for the Medicare single payer program when those that are younger are not?
When, under what medical circumstances, and why should tax-exempt hospitals be required to provide mutually affordable health care to patients? Should non-charitable for-profit entities (physician group practices, pharmacies, cafeterias) be able to deriveprofits from the use of tax-exempt hospitals? What standards should govern the charges that tax-exempt hospitals can charge for medical services? Should self-paying patients be charged higher rates than insured patients for the same medical services, and if so, why? Should hospitals be required to serve illegal immigrants?
Is health care a right and not a privilege? Should health care be treated the same as every other service industry (such as restaurants, hotels, and dry cleaning); that is, those who can pay for it may have it? Should patient behavior be taken into account in determining whether a patient is eligible for health insurance? For instance, should a patient who took no steps to stop smoking, in spite of a physician’s recommendations, be eligible for private or public health insurance funding of respiratory disease or lung cancer that is directly attributable to a smoking habit? Similarly, should patients who fail to monitor their health with regular routine checkups be compelled to pay higher insurance premiums for their health insurance plan? How is the decision to deny advanced health care for preventable illnesses and diseases different from those of societies that choose to effectively rule the death of certain groups because of some eugenic argument. Could this type of health care policy be a slippery slope and lead to policies where only those people with genetic characteristics judged desirable to the human species would be entitled to health insurance that provided coverage for advanced health care procedures?