Healthcare Case Analysis (Peikoff & Bradley)

Overview and Instructions

In this case analysis you have five tasks:

  1. Give a clear and concise explanation of the case at hand.
  2. Give a thorough, philosophical exegesis of the relevant aspects of Bradleys and Peikoffs arguments. 
  3. Present an argument applying the relevant philosophers to the case at hand. This should include an argument justifying in which world each philosopher would place Jim and why.
  4. Present an argument explaining why one of the philosophers can be viewed as offering a more successful solution to the case at hand.
  5. In no more than one paragraph, explain what solution you would propose for Jim.


Consider Jim. Jim has worked in middle management his entire life.  He had the option of paying into his companys managed healthcare system but decided he wanted to keep the money instead and invest it in case he ever needed acute medical treatment.  Unfortunately, on his 40th birthday, Jim decided to buy a red Corvette with that money.  6 months later, Jim went to a doctor to see why he was feeling so awful.  The doctor diagnosed Jim with emphysema, diabetes, and kidney failure.  All three of these conditions are the result of Jims lifestyle choices: smoking, poor eating and exercise habits, and excessive drinking.  These conditions are chronic and will require treatment for the rest of Jims life including cutting-edge lung and kidney treatments and weekly meetings with a nutritionist, endocrinologist, cardiologist, etc.


Here are the two possible healthcare worlds for Jim (he must be “placed” in one of them):

  1. Participate in a universal healthcare system, paid for by income taxes, which doesnt provide Jim with the latest and greatest medical technology but does meet basic standards of care.
  2. Participate in a pay-for-service system, which allows Jim to pay for whatever treatment he wants and/or can afford but will not treat him unless he pays for the service.