Health Policy and Law Basics

Health Policy and Law Basics

Health Policy and Law Basics




The paper seeks to identify the best model that is suitable for starting a healthcare centre from the three paradigms that were employed earlier in America. The three paradigms included professional autonomy, social contract, and free market perspectives. The paper also attempts to identify some laws the led to the three perspectives and how they influence the operations of an emerging healthcare today. The free market competition model has been an affirmative perspective to adapt since it leads to the creation of competent medical practitioners and improved quality of the healthcare.

Health Policy and Law Basics

The comprehensive health reform has been the main objective of the legislative system of the United States. As a result, the American Health Law continues to evolve largely by the influence of three major models. These models include the authority of the medical profession, egalitarian social contract and the market competition. Out of the three paradigms, the market completion model holds the legitimate interests and rights of the healthcare system in the 21st Century. The free market competition is suitable for developing a healthcare centre in my city since it gives the individual a choice to decide on the health insurance and health services they want. The model allows individuals to decide the best healthcare system they want based on their financial resources, provided the quality of the medical service is above minimum requirement specified by the board of the medical profession. The model gives the power to the consumers to maximize the efficiency of the healthcare services subject to their financial constraints, thus eliminating possible hidden cross-subsidies. In other words, people will tend to pay only for health coverage that benefit them and the healthcare providers will respond to the market pressure by economizing their resources to meet the satisfaction of the customers. The free market competition has been an attractive model to the modern society since as the market advocates argue, it sweeps through most of the political and legal instruments. For instance, the government is cognizant of the increasing need for a comprehensive array to provide primary healthcare for both low-income and diverse population. As a result, free market competition model has reduced the hierarchical barrier and centralized forms of providing healthcare to patients. The model has improved hospital science and public health science by taking the initiative to provide individual treatment. Such initiatives include informed sanitation, food inspection, public health education and accurate diagnosis of patients (Ameringe, 2008).

Advantage of free market competition model

The three paradigms have not reached reconciliation regarding ways of the society’s values in providing healthcare. Nevertheless, to some degree, the free market competition model facilitates collaboration between the public and the private health sectors. The degree of the increasing consumer preferences to the price signals in accessing healthcare service has raised the advantages of free market competition over other models. One of the advantages of the model is that both the social contract and the professional autonomy have been unable to meet the overall increasing health prices and expenditures. Since the expansion of pharmaceutical and the medical technologies in the modern era, there has been an increasing demand by consumers to achieve cost containment and equity on healthcare. As a result, the high forces of demand and supply of healthcare service tended to override the conservative practices of the other models which were restrictive and inequities. For example, the centralized model practiced earlier in the United States allocated health resources in one region and provided a limited supply in marginalized regions. Moreover, the autonomous model encourages market dominance leading to high costs of healthcare for the consumer. Nevertheless, the free market model gives the freedom for medical practitioners to open a centre at any place and give quality healthcare services. Another advantage is that the pragmatic feasibility of free market model provides a substantive solution to the rationing and centralization of healthcare resources through the principle of the consumer’s choice (Field, 2014).

My Perspective on Free Market Competition Model

In support of my choice of the paradigm of free market competition, I look at the legal responsibility of performing a surgery on a patient with his consent. The paradigm supports the hospital liability to include all the staffs involved in the operation, including the employer. The profit corporation ensures medical professionalism is carried out according to interest of the patients. Secondly, I view that self-regulation healthcare frameworks cannot produce competent physician; therefore, it will lead to low-quality healthcare. The mechanisms of market competition will facilitate strong professional culture of perfectionism in light of the modern defined standards of quality healthcare. However, the free market model has some disadvantages. For instance, low-income earners may not have enough money to access quality healthcare services. Secondly, it is difficult to control the prices; therefore, a free market model is dominated by price discrimination where different patients are charged different prices for the same health services (Mansell, 2013).

Source of Laws for the Three Paradigms

However, there are different sources of law that lead to the emergence of the three models. For instance, the model of the social contract originated from the article that considered the judicial doctrines to articulate both the social and political interests, in order to practice fairness and good policy. Secondly, the professional autonomy model became dominant in 1960, when the American Medical Association and hospital bylaws supported the autonomy of individual physicians. The autonomous model was further justified by the law of agency that allowed doctors to the knowledgeable agents for the wellbeing of the patients. Thirdly, the free market competition model was a product of the transforming social contract, whereby there were many problems that led to hospital liability. As a result, it placed healthcare institutions to be liable to damages when they treated without the duty of care for the patients and caused harm (Mansell, 2013).


As such, non-liability is out of tune in our healthcare objectives and social fabrics, and we have a duty to accountable for the healthcare being given to our patients. Changes in common law have paved way for market revolution and distribution of resources according to consumers’ preferences and choices. Therefore, the free market model has been a collaborative platform that has reconciled most of the conflicts of the other models.


Ameringe, C.F. (2008). The health care revolution: from medical monopoly to market

competition. California: University of California Press.

Field, R.I. (2014). Mother of invention: how the government created “free-market” health care.

New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Mansell, S.F. (2013). Capitalism, corporations and the social contract: a critique of stakeholder

theory. Delhi: Cambridge University Press.