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August 3, 1994

Ethical Foundations of Health System Reform-Reply

Author Affiliations

Brown University Providence, RI

JAMA. 1994;272(5):354. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520050031020

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In Reply.  —A Dr McCullough notes, we did not cite empirical surveys to back our claim that the principles and values underlying the Clinton reform were "widely shared." We took it as a commonplace that many polls over the years show Americans strongly believe that no one should go without needed medical services and that it is a social responsibility to provide them to those who cannot afford them. The values and principles are also "widely shared" in that they are supported by many religious and moral traditions and theories. We did not suggest they were universally accepted. Nor should anyone infer that these are not widely shared American values just because our health care system does not yet embody them: many powerful interests oppose the achievement of reform now and have successfully thwarted it in the past.Because the Ethics Working Group of President Clinton's Health Care Task Force

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