A critique of the innovation argument against a national health program

Bioethics 21 (6):316–323 (2007)
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President Bush and his Council of Economic Advisors have claimed that the U.S. shouldn’t adopt a national health program because doing so would slow innovation in health care. Some have attacked this argument by challenging its moral claim that innovativeness is a good ground for choosing between health care systems. This reply is misguided. If we want to refute the argument from innovation, we have to undercut the premise that seems least controversial -- the premise that our current system produces more innovation than a national health program would. I argue that this premise is false. The argument requires clarifying the concept ‘national health program’ and examining various theories of human well-being.


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Alex Rajczi
Claremont McKenna College

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