Health care reform: Can a communitarian perspective be salvaged?
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The United States is culturally oriented more toward individual rights and values than to communitarian values. That proclivity has made it hard to develop a common good, or solidarity-based, perspective on health care. Too many people believe they have no obligation to support the health care of others and resist a strong role for government, higher taxation, or reduced health benefits. I argue that we need to build a communitarian perspective on the concept of solidarity, which has been the concept underlying European health care systems, by focusing not on individual needs, but rather, on those of different age groups—that is, what people need at different stages of life.
KeywordsCommunity Solidarity Individualism Justice
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