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Posted: August 23rd, 2023

NUR415 Week 8 Discussion: Role Of Government In Providing Health Care

NUR415 Week 8 Discussion: Role Of Government In Providing Health Care.
Step 1: Read the following quote by Hubert H. Humphrey, United States politician (1911-1978).

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.”

Step 2: Post a response to the discussion board by addressing the following questions:

Do you agree or disagree with the Humphrey statement? Why or why not?
State your reasons based on your knowledge of the health care system, current research, observations in the clinical area, and personal experience.
Justify your responses with appropriate resources.
Step 3: Read other students’ posts and respond to at least two of them by Friday at 11:59 pm MT

Cite any sources in 7th ed. APA format

The Moral Imperative of Government in Healthcare Provision: An Analysis

Hubert H. Humphrey, a prominent United States politician, once posited that the moral gauge of a government can be measured by its treatment of the most vulnerable segments of society: the young, the elderly, and those afflicted by illness, poverty, and disability. This thought-provoking statement delves into the role of government in providing healthcare, a topic that continues to evoke debate and discussion across various arenas. In this discourse, we shall delve into the veracity of Humphrey’s assertion, drawing upon insights from the healthcare system, recent research, clinical observations, and personal experiences.

Agreeing with the Moral Test

Agreeing with Humphrey’s perspective is acknowledging that the essence of governance transcends beyond the implementation of policies; it is a commitment to fostering societal well-being, particularly among the most vulnerable demographics. The health care system, as a critical aspect of public welfare, exemplifies this principle. Research in recent years underscores the pivotal role governments play in ensuring equitable access to healthcare services. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2019), nations that prioritize healthcare as a fundamental right exhibit better health outcomes and reduced disparities.

Healthcare as a Right

Government involvement in healthcare acknowledges the intrinsic value of human life and well-being. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the United States, for instance, expanded healthcare coverage to millions previously excluded due to economic constraints. Such initiatives resonate with Humphrey’s moral yardstick, as they focus on the “shadows of life” – the sick and the needy.

Balancing Act

However, the discourse isn’t devoid of counterarguments. Critics contend that an overly involved government may compromise individual freedoms and stifle innovation in healthcare. Striking the right balance between state intervention and personal agency is crucial. The Singaporean healthcare model (Chua et al., 2016), often praised for its effectiveness, employs a mix of state support and individual responsibility. This indicates that while government involvement is vital, it must be judiciously calibrated.

Clinical Insights and Personal Observations

In the clinical realm, the impact of government policies on healthcare provision is palpable. From increased funding for research to the implementation of protocols that prioritize patient safety, government initiatives have substantial implications for patient care. Personal experiences within healthcare settings further emphasize the significance of a supportive governmental stance. Accessible healthcare services for the elderly, as well as timely interventions for children and those with disabilities, align with Humphrey’s moral test and translate into better patient outcomes.

Justifying with Scholarly References

This analysis finds resonance in scholarly literature. A study by Sommers et al. (2017) assessed the impact of Medicaid expansion under the ACA and found substantial improvements in access to care and financial security. In a similar vein, research by Thomson et al. (2020) highlights the role of government policies in shaping healthcare experiences of vulnerable populations. These studies substantiate the claim that governments exert a substantial influence on healthcare access and quality, echoing Humphrey’s ethical benchmark.


Hubert H. Humphrey’s assertion encapsulates the essence of good governance: a commitment to safeguarding the well-being of all citizens, particularly the most vulnerable. The discourse surrounding government involvement in healthcare is a complex one, with the scales tipping in favor of the moral imperative. By ensuring equitable access to healthcare, governments manifest their dedication to fostering a society that values and cares for its members across all stages of life.


Chua, R., Legido-Quigley, H., & Ng, C. W. (2016). Singapore’s national health system—what can the UK learn from a decade of reforms? BMJ, 354, i3577.
Sommers, B. D., Gunja, M. Z., Finegold, K., Musco, T., & Burke, A. (2017). Changes in self-reported insurance coverage, access to care, and health under the Affordable Care Act. JAMA, 317(4), 447-454.
Thomson, K., Hillier-Brown, F., Walton, N., Bilaj, M., Bambra, C., & Todd, A. (2020). The effects of public health policies on population health and health inequalities in European welfare states: Protocol for an umbrella review. JMIR Research Protocols, 9(1), e14534.
World Health Organization. (2019). Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/universal-health-coverage-(uhc)

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