051. The coming administration

A discussion on our (new?) government.


Questions to ponder

  1. Do we all agree the next administration will be that of Joseph R. Biden Jr. not donald j. trump?
  2. Do you believe the coming administration will improve healthcare in America, worsen healthcare in America, or keep it about the same?
  3. In what way(s) do you expect the next administration to be different from the current?
  4. In general, Brown (2007) tells us, bioethics has been politicized through three traditional lenses: liberalism, communitarianism, and republicanism. Brown finds “[t]he liberal emphasis on the irreducible plurality of values […] and the communitarian concern with the social dimensions of biotechnology” can be bettered further by the republican tradition “which emphasizes institutional mechanisms” that “enrich but [do] not dominate public deliberation” ensuring public accountability and contestability. Can you imagine other forms of bioethical politicization? Can you imagine a “better” form of politics?
  5. How do we “confront profound moral disagreement” we might have amongst ourselves, such as the ethical status of moral embryos and the positions we take w/r/t them? Put less pointedly, how do approximately 74 million Americans live knowing 80 million Americans disagree (sometimes vehemently! with them and vice versa?
  6. What does a just “public option” look like? How does it function? What does it fix? What comes after it?
  7. How/Shall we revise Obamacare?
  8. Does the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act have a moral dimension which ought to be considered along side its legal one(s)?
  9. A recent Executive Order on Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First1 (issued on September 13, 2020(, it became “the policy of the United States that the Medicare program should not pay more for costly Part B or Part D prescription drugs or biological products than the most-favored-nation price [… –] the lowest price, after adjusting for volume and differences in national gross domestic product, for a pharmaceutical product that the drug manufacturer sells in a member country of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that has a comparable per-capita gross domestic product.” Should the U.S. Federal Government retain this policy in future administrations?
  10. Will the United States ever have “universal healthcare”?
  11. Will reproductive rights be improved, be diminished, or remain about the same with the Biden administration as compared to the trump administration?
  12. Which U.S. administration has done the most to improve the overall health of Americans?
  13. Will Americans live longer over the next four years than they did previously?
  14. When will this pandemic end? How?
  15. How should/can we remember/honor/carry forward the quarter million dead Americans we have lost thus far and those we’ve still yet to lose?

1. Please note, that this comes from the Executive Order (found here https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-lowering-drug-prices-putting-america-first-2/). This differs from one found at a related URL (found here https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-lowering-drug-prices-putting-america-first/). While substantively the same, the former omits this paragraph justifying the need for the Order:

The need for affordable Medicare Part B drugs is particularly acute now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to historic levels of unemployment in the United States, including the loss of 1.2 million jobs among Americans age 65 or older between March and April of 2020.  The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to an increase in food prices, straining budgets for many of America’s seniors, particularly those who live on fixed incomes.  The economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic only increase the burdens placed on America’s seniors and other Medicare Part B beneficiaries.


Readings to consider