The Affordable Care Act and Health Promotion: The Role of Insurance in Defining Responsibility for Health Risks and Costs

62 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2013

See all articles by Wendy K. Mariner

Wendy K. Mariner

Boston University School of Law; Boston University School of Public Health

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 11, 2012

Abstract

The Affordable Care Act has three different approaches to promoting health. Two are uncontroversial: supporting education, research and community projects; and requiring insurance coverage of preventive services. The third, encouraging wellness programs within public and private health plans, reintroduces risk rating, which the ACA otherwise largely eliminates, back into insurance pools, although primarily for conditions most prevalent among disadvantaged populations. This article critiques the use of insurance to achieve health outcomes. Insurance influences what we find socially acceptable, which risks we are willing to share, and which risks remain the personal responsibility of individuals. It can transform prejudices based on questionable evidence into socially acceptable discrimination, in both employment and access to public benefits.

Keywords: health law, wellness programs, discrimination, Affordable Care Act

Suggested Citation

Mariner, Wendy K., The Affordable Care Act and Health Promotion: The Role of Insurance in Defining Responsibility for Health Risks and Costs (April 11, 2012). Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 54, p. 271, Spring 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2237628

Wendy K. Mariner (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Law ( email )

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Boston, MA 02215
United States

Boston University School of Public Health ( email )

715 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118
United States
617-638-4626 (Phone)
617-414-1464 (Fax)

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