What can we learn from history and philosophy?

Clare Gray • SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

Clare Gray, hospital internist and founder of Physicians for Reform, examines patterns in the history of ethical thought and shows how those ideas are influencing the design of modern health policy. Gray looks back to Plato, Hippocrates, and Nietzsche, and traces those foundations through prominent figures such as Peter Singer and Ezekiel Emanuel. Gray argues that there are major reasons to be concerned about placing the power of a determining who receives healthcare when resources are scarce into a central authority. Recent reforms that change who pays for healthcare are dangerous, he argues, because whoever pays holds the power to choose. According to Gray, the strategy for moving the United States towards single-payer healthcare is to keep Medicare, get states to expand Medicaid, and cost shift to private insurers. This, he argues, ought to be opposed.

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