AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. November 2011, Volume 13, Number 11.

Ethics Poll

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

One of the core features of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is that, effective January 1, 2014, individuals will be required to purchase health insurance or face financial penalties. Exemptions to the fine are made in cases of financial hardship or certain religious beliefs. Do you support this individual mandate requiring that everyone purchase health insurance?
Another feature of the Affordable Care Act is that insurers will be prohibited from refusing coverage or charging higher premiums to individuals because of their pre-existing medical conditions. Do you support this prohibition?
Many experts argue that, without the individual mandate to increase the number of enrollees, health insurers will be unable to stay in business, given the law's requirement that they not charge extra for pre-existing medical conditions. If we take that argument as fact, does that change your answer to question #1?
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.