Ethics is one of the five branches of philosophy that deals with human character and how humans conduct themselves in the society. Since humans have freedom of doing various activities that benefit them, ethics is essential because it defines their character and conduct.
Essentially, ethics systematically assesses human activities with a view of establishing whether they are right or wrong.
In the society where chaos and disorders prevail, ethics offers the appropriate solution because it provides moral values, principles, norms, and ideals, which humans should adhere to as standard practices of human conduct and behavior.
According to Cavico and Mujtaba (2010), the aim of ethics is to understand the epistemology of human conduct and character so that it can define the best ways in which humans can co-exist and attain the real meaning of life.
In this view, ethics enables humans to regulate their conduct and character to be in line with the moral values, norms, ideals, and principles that society cherishes and upholds amidst chaos and confusion.
To define and expound ethics, diverse philosophers have come up with theories and models such as utilitarianism, deontology, pragmatic ethics, and postmodern ethics.
Hence, this term paper seeks to use utilitarian theory and model in assessing whether it is moral for Florida Blue to implement the Obama’s health care reform.
Utilitarian theory is the dominant ethical theory that philosophers and ethicists apply when analyzing human conduct and character. John Stuart Mill is one of the pioneers and proponents of utilitarian theory.
Fundamentally, utilitarian theory belongs to the category of consequential theories that assess morality basing on the consequences of an action. According to Mill (2010), rightness or wrongness of an action is dependent on its consequences rather than the nature of the action.
On this assertion, utilitarian theory rejects the assessment of morality basing on the actions. Hence, utilitarian theory assumes that human actions have no morality in themselves unless assessed using their consequences.
Cavico and Mujtaba (2009) argue that an action is morally right if its consequences are good, and it is morally wrong if its consequences are bad. Hence, the consequences of an action are central in determining if an action is right or wrong.
The utilitarian theory also assesses the degree of morality or the extent to which an action is right or wrong. According to the utilitarian theory, for an action to be morally right, it must generate greatest happiness or pleasure to most people and cause the least pain and harm (Mill, 2010).
In this view, the theory does not only assess the degree of morality basing on the consequences, but also assesses morality basing on the number of people that gain happiness or experience pain.
The consequence of an action may be good, but it does benefit the greatest number of people in terms of happiness and pleasure.
In the examination of utilitarian theory, Cavico and Mujtaba (2009) state that the consequence of an action should be good and beneficial to most people in the society.
In this view, utilitarian theory requires consideration of action’s consequence and the number of people that experience happiness or pain.
Thus, an action is morally right if its consequences are good and beneficial to most stakeholders, and it is morally wrong if its consequences are bad and harmful to most stakeholders.
Utilitarian Model and Utilitarian Analysis
The use of the utilitarian model in the assessment of human actions provides a quantitative way of analyzing morality. The utilitarian model apportions numerical values to goodness and badness of an action’s consequences.
The goodness of an action has a positive scale of 1 to 5 (1 to 5) while the badness of an action has a negative scale of 1 to 5 (-1 to -5). Zero is an intermediate value on the scale, which shows that actions’ consequence is neither good nor bad to a specific stakeholder.
The utilitarian model quantifies the degree of pleasure and pain, which are consequences of an action (Cavico & Mujtaba, 2009). Therefore, the term paper utilizes the utilitarian model in establishing if it is moral for Florida Blue to implement the Obama’s Heath care plan.
- The act that the term paper seeks to evaluate using the utilitarian model is whether it is moral for Florida Blue to implement the Obama’s health care reform.
- The following are the stakeholders that the implementation of the Obama’s health care reform affects, both directly and indirectly.
The foreseeable good is that the government will improve general health of the population, and thus enhances the health of the nation. However, the foreseeable bad consequence is that the cost necessary to sustain health care reforms may not be sustainable in the end.
Health care system
The foreseeable good of the health care reforms is that the health care system will offer improved quality of healthcare services (Rosenbaum, 2011). Given that quality of healthcare services depend on many factors, the foreseeable bad is that the quality of care may deteriorate with time.
The foreseeable good of the health care reform in Florida Blue is that it will increase the number of patients and thus improve its growth. However, Florida Blue may not be able to satisfy the demands of the patients.
If Florida Blue implements health reforms, the foreseeable good is that it will provide a competitive environment for insurance companies. The foreseeable bad consequence is that the insurance companies will increase insurance premiums.
Healthcare providers and working environment
The foreseeable good of the health reforms is that it will improve competence, remuneration packages, and the working environment of healthcare providers. Since the number of patients will increase in Florida Blue, the foreseeable bad consequence is that healthcare providers will have to perform extra duties to serve all patients.
The foreseeable good among patients is that they will receive quality services that they have been unable to afford. Nevertheless, the foreseeable bad consequence is that the quality of healthcare services offered to patients may deteriorate with time.
Citizens and society
Given that health care reforms legally require citizens to take health insurance cover, the foreseeable good is improved health status and the lifespan of the people. However, the foreseeable bad consequence is that the cost of health insurance may increase and become unaffordable to many people.
Quantification of Good and Bad Consequences
|Stakeholders||Foreseeable Good||Foreseeable Bad|
The assessment of the act of implementing the Obama’s health care reform in Florida shows that it has more good than bad.
Since the good consequences of implementing Obama’s health care reform outweigh the bad consequences, from the utilitarian perspective, it implies that the act is moral in Florida Blue.
The utilitarian analysis shows that Florida Blue should implement health reforms to improve healthcare services that it provides to all stakeholders.
Cavico, F., & Mujtaba, B. (2010). Business Ethics: The Moral Foundation of Effective Leadership, Management, and Entrepreneurship (2nd ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Custom Publishing.
Mill, J. (2010). Utilitarianism. New York: Broadview Press.
Rosenbaum, S. (2011). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Implications for Public Health Policy and Practice. Public Health Reports, 126(1), 130-135.