Most of the estimated 11 million undocumented residents of the U.S. have no health insurance and are ineligible for public insurance programs. They are prohibited from obtaining insurance under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
When they become sick or injured, these low-income patients have limited access to health care. Organizations that are federally mandated to provide some level of care on the basis of medical need, such as emergency departments, federally qualified health centers, and health programs for farm workers, face difficult resource allocation challenges when undocumented patients' medical needs exceed available resources.
"Health care professionals can be deeply troubled when they encounter situations that seem unfair," says Nancy Berlinger, a Hastings Center scholar who is co-director of the project. "How to provide good care to patients who cannot afford to pay for care is one of those situations. When a patient is also undocumented, the situation becomes even more complex. This project aims to help clinicians and organizations by exploring the difficult questions of how ethical obligations compete with economic constraints, conflicting mandates, and political considerations."
Michael Gusmano, the other co-director of the project, adds, "We will review existing policies and regulations and identify how they shape access to care for undocumented patients.
"We know that some laws and programs are designed to provide access to health care for this population and others explicitly forbid the use of public funds to pay for care for this population," he says. "This creates a complex policy environment that causes difficulties for the patients, health care professionals, and health care organizations. Our project seeks to clarify, as much as possible, these policy choices and identify their consequences."
At a meeting in September in New York, the project's advisory group discussed several questions: Is there a right to health care implicit in the U.S.? In a society with a large immigrant population like the U.S., how are our social values expressed in how we view undocumented patients? What ethical guidance may help health care organizations and state and federal policymakers in a challenging economic environment at a time when the regulations are changing under the ACA.
The project's advisory group includes clinicians and health care leaders from organizations that serve communities that include undocumented patients. Project advisors also include experts in human rights law and theory, health care ethics, and safety net health policy. The project will produce a special report; a Web site with resources for the public; and journal articles.
Michael Turton | EurekAlert!
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy