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Natural Law and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

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4 Responses

  1. A.J. Sutter says:

    I’m sorry to ask a question before I’ve read the book, but do you make a commitment to any particular ethical theory? From the post above, it sounds as if you’re utilitarian or at least consequentialist. E.g., suppose someone argues that the ACA has some “infirmity” on the basis of a deontological argument; your counter to that seems to be that the ACA’s contribution to the Common Good outweighs that deontological qualm. I’m not sure that an appeal to the Common Good is necessarily a consequentialist appeal, but that seemed to be the flavor of your post. Have I misunderstood?

  2. Robin West says:

    Thank you for your thoughts and i don’t think you’ve misunderstood me…. my comment did indeed rely on a consequentialist interpretation of the Common Good, but i’m not sure that the Common Good has to be understood in a consequentialist manner. One unappreciated virtue of the Common Good tradition within Natural Law though is that it does seem to open up and in a very good way consequentialism and/or utilitarianism to insights that are not so tied to preference maximization or cost-benefit analysis

  3. Jimbino says:

    The Amish are exempt from Obamacare, presumably because they don’t believe in insurance to cover risk they cover themselves. I feel the same way, being a life-long opponent of any insurance to protect myself (auto comprehensive, life, health, fire, personal property, etc.).

    I don’t quite follow the “common good” argument, one that is used to justify Obamacare, public education and national parks and forests, among other things not mentioned in the Constitution. One might as well include love, friendship, good food and good sex.

    The fact is that the Constitution wouldn’t have been passed had it given the feds power over our health, education and welfare, food, sex, and parks and forests.

    To me it seems that the common good, as far as the federal gummint is concerned, is pretty much limited to national defense, policing, courts, mail delivery and maritime shipping. Anything else falls in the category of regulating soda-bottle size for the “common good.”

  4. Joe says:

    This “no insurance” philosophy mean that you don’t accept fire department resources? Insurance entails payment in times of need, so you can get health care when necessary. Fire departments provide social insurance in this respect.

    The Constitution gives the feds power over public lands. The public lands have “parks and forests.” The Constitution gives the federal government various powers. There is no “health” or “food” exception to them. I don’t understand.

    Your “common good” for some strange reason doesn’t include interstate commerce as a whole (health insurance being a national business, 1/5 of the national economy and a healthy workforce alone showing the value of insurance here) but regardless even in your limited list, food etc. are involved. For instance, shipping includes foodstuffs.

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