Tag Archives: Obamacare

Moral Decisions – Some Examples (Part 8)

Continuing with my last post.

Clearly, combining consequetialism with deontology can have very harmful results (housing crisis of 2008 and Obamacare).  But what about virtue ethics.  Virtue ethics would suggest that our leaders utilize the cardinal virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice, as well as the love of neighbor, when considering moral decisions.

The virtue ethicists were either absent from the moral decisions regarding housing and health care, or drowned-out be the opposition.  You would think that they would rely on the virtues of justice and love of neighbor to at least understand the benefits to American citizens of affordable housing and health care.  But, you would also think that they would have the wisdom to understand the risks of such programs and the humility to suggest that such policies may not work and might have very harmful unintended consequences.  And, you would hope that in the face of severe opposition, that they would still have the courage of their convictions to stand up and be heard.

The courage aspect has been lacking in our leaders.  They may follow this third moral philosophy of virtue ethics, which I consider the toughest of the three to follow, but, without the virtue of courage, the philosophy loses its effectiveness.  And without an effective third philosophy, the remaining two moral philosophies, much easier to follow, expand to take its place.

Moral Decisions – Some Examples (Part 3)

Continuing with my previous post.  So, what does moral philosophy tell us are the next steps regarding Obamacare.

The President, continuing with his insistence on the full enactment of the law, is operating according to his consequentialism moral philosophy.  He is being consistent with the philosophy that he considers necessary to provide healthcare to all Americans.  From a consequentialism point of view, the President is acting rationally and according to the tenets of the philosophy: the greatest good for the greatest number of people.  As such, from a consequential philosophy perspective, the President’s actions are now much easier to understand.

For those Democrats in Congress that adhere to the consequentialism philosophy, the same as the President’s, then their actions are also much easier to understand and for the same reasons as mentioned above.

But, for those Democrats in Congress that adhere more to deontology and believed that it was their duty or obligation to support Obamacare based on the marketing by the President that “if you like your plan…” then they have a very difficult moral decision ahead of them.  They can either: 1) remain passive and let enactment continue, either becoming consequentialists themselves (highly unlikely) or, more likely, find themselves opposing their own moral philosophy for political reasons, or 2) remain true to their deontology philosophy and take actions to correct their mistakes that are apparent to everyone.

While no Republicans voted in favor of Obamacare, those that did read the fine print of the plan did fall short in their rebuttal of the marketing by the President that “if you like your plan…”  While they could have been even more vocal, I must admit that the points about keeping your plan, keeping your doctor, and save $2500 annually was so powerful of an advertising push, that no battle against it could have been won.

The Republicans, most of which probably adhere to the virtue ethics philosophy, do have a responsibility in all of this based on their philosophy.  Their responsibility is to not only fight to reverse Obamacare, which is now seen as not what was marketed to the public, but to also offer a reasonable alternative plan that come as close as possible to the intent of the people, and with complete transparency.  To not offer such a plan would be similar to those deontological Democrats that decide to do nothing about the enactment of Obamacare.

I hope that the world of moral philosophy has helped to define the issues regarding Obamacare and the three philosophies that are followed in dealing with the issues.  I think that by using moral philosophy, rather than political science, the actions taken by the President and Congress become much clearer and the next steps to be taken are more easily defined.

In fact, the American people need to have a national conversation among themselves as to whether 1) consequentialism is an acceptable philosophy for civic leaders and 2) what are the consequences for those civic leaders who are not consequentialists and who decide to not make amends for their mistakes as a result of the actions of leaders who adhere to consequentialism.

Up next, the financial crisis of 2008.

Moral Decisions – Some Examples (Part 2)

In my last post I presented the facts regarding the enactment of Obamacare.  Now for the analysis.

The facts indicate that the President knew that he had to lie to get Obamacare passed.  If his  moral philosophy is consequentialism, which I think it is, then lying is justified by this philosophy .  The ends (affordable healthcare for everyone) justify the means (lying to the American public).  Consequentialists are not concerned with the actions, they are concerned with the results or the consequences.  If lying is required to provide affordable healthcare to all people, then so be it.

The facts also indicate that the Democrats in Congress did not read the bill before their voting. They relied on the President’s word that “if you like your plan…”  If they had actually read the bill, many would not have voted for it.  Those Democrats that would not have voted had they known what was in the bill follow the moral philosophy of deontology.  They believed that is their duty or obligation to provide affordable healthcare to everyone, and they would not have enter into a lie to et the law passed.  These members were simply following their duty to all Americans to provide affordable health care.

Those few Democrats that did know what was in the bill and voted for it would be followers of consequentialism.  Lying to the public would be acceptable to these Democrats since it contributed to the enactment of the bill.

The few Republicans that read the bill and knew that the President was wrong were vocal in their opposition; however, they were drowned out by others that accepted the deceitful marketing points.  These few members were defeated by the lies that were simply too powerful to overcome.  Why wouldn’t you support the moral objective of affordable healthcare for everyone if there were no changes to your policy or doctor and the premium cost would go down.

More to come.

Moral Decisions – Some Examples (Part 1)

There are two large political events that have consumed our country for the past several years: 1) recently, Obamacare, and 2) the great recession and housing collapse of 2008.

These two government-driven events, one under a Democratic president and the other under a Republican president, are both based by a moral imperative.  As such, they should be analyzed using the tools of moral philosophy rather than the tools of political science or economics.  In fact, I find it much easier to get my hands around the critical elements of the two debates using philosophy rather than the traditional conservative versus liberal or Republican versus Democrat labels.

Let’s begin with Obamacare.  President Obama believed that the American public gave him the mandate to pursue the ideal of affordable healthcare for all citizens.  He drafted a bill, with the help of Congress, that was narrowly enacted.  As part of the marketing for the passage of the bill, he promised: 1) if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, 2) if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, and 3) the average insurance premium will go down $2500 per year.  The Democrats in Congress, most of whom did not read the details of the bill, accepted the President’s three points regarding the bill.  Several members of the Republican party did read the bill and they did not believe the three marketing points were correct: they tried repeatedly to draw attention to the bill, but with no luck.

I have first-hand experience with the bill.  I am one of those with an individual plan that has recently been cancelled by my insurance company.  I must now go through the Obamacare exchange to get my health insurance.  Having spent many hours on the exchange website, I can say that I have two choices: 1) lose my plan, lose my doctor, and pay the same as what I was paying before, or 2) keep my plan, keep my doctor, or pay twice what I was paying before.  Neither of these alternatives meet the promises by the President.  By the way, I must admit that the marketing of keep your plan, keep your doctor, and save $2500 per year in premium cost seemed like a great deal to me.  I didn’t read the bill to know that the marketing was not true – not even close to being true.  I relied on our elected officials to do the right thing and say the right thing regarding this new mandate.

More to come on analyzing the moral dilemma of this bill.