Critical Reasoning Project W1
September 14, 2021
Assignment 2: Strategies and Resources for Success
September 14, 2021

  • Suppose you are a policymaker responsible for allocating resources and setting spending priorities for North Carolina’s Medicaid program. You’ve been granted an extra $20,000,000, and with this funding, you can either:
  • 1. Offer 50 children/year a highly effective live-saving treatment for pediatric cancer, yielding 3750 total QALYs, or
  • 2. Offer 25,000 adults suffering from mild depression* a highly effective course of psychotherapy – e.g. talk therapy – yielding 25,000 QALYs.

Expected Net Benefit (QALYs)

Duration (years)

Cost/Treatment ($)

Cancer Treatment

1

75

400,000

Psychotherapy

0.2

5

800

* Adults with mild depression can typically manage their day-to-day activities, but usually with little enjoyment. They may also experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, difficulty focusing, tiredness, negative thoughts, and feelings of sadness, among others.

What is cost-effectiveness analysis? What is the motivation for using cost-effectiveness analysis to prioritize healthcare services? How would you decide this question if you employed cost-effectiveness analysis? Is cost-effectiveness analysis a just procedure for prioritizing health care services? Why or why not? Does priority to the worse off offer a more just approach to the prioritization of health care services for Medicaid recipients? Why or why not? If so, which version of priority to the worse off is most defensible? Why? Be sure to defend your answer. Cost effectiveness – (Is this a good way in determining how to choose?)

An “A” paper will defend a clearly formulated and tightly focused thesis. It will be clearly written and will be organized in a rational and coherent manner. It will demonstrate a strong grasp of the material under discussion and will reconstruct the arguments under discussion in a systematic way. It will support its thesis with strong arguments that do not invite immediate objections and that appreciate the complexity of the issue under discussion. As well, it will consider well thought through objections to the positions that it defends.

 

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