Essay Example. Comparative Rhetorical Analysis

Published: 2023-04-19
12 min read

Over the last decades, several debates have been held over the affordable care act and Medicaid expansion. From these debates, the focus has been on the high cost of health care affecting the economic status of low-income earners leading to emotional responses that interferes with the country's ethos, pathos, and logos (Moody et al., 2016). Since researchers have different perceptions about healthcare, Americans' lives are jeopardized. Even though the two writers use logos, pathos, and ethos to explain Medicaid expansion, the article America Sick Again gives more intensive knowledge.

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According to Aristotle, ethos depends on the personal character of the speaker. Audiences are convinced with this mode of persuasion based on the credibility and authority of the persuader. In both articles, the authors reveal the cost of health care that affects most Americans. In the article Make America Sick Again, the authors argue that there is a need to repeal and replace the affordable care act (ACA) to reduce spending (Cahill, 2017). According to this article, the authors argue that under the Senate plan, the per capita funding would be tied to the general inflation rate, which may lead to the reduction of medical inflation. However, the Senate bill shall lower the subsidies for private insurance, cut Medicaid funding, and end the Medicaid expansion. In the article US Healthcare is Broken, the authors argue that the United States has the most costly healthcare across the globe. Flower contends that the second-best approach is to prevent the spread of chronic disease where it is perceived that Americans are on the verge of not receiving better health care as a result of the least amount of money. Flower accuses the country of having broken healthcare. Such that the high cost charged for healthcare makes the public endure hardships, which creates one of the most substantial income inequality within the country. Since, there is high cost, American faces emotional, physical, and financial burden which escalates to poverty. Even with the introduction of the affordable care act, most Americans cannot access health care when they deem it most.

The other concept of ethos is based on bisexual and lesbian women who have the lowest probability of accessing preventive cancer screening like mammograms and pap tests since they have a lower insurance coverage rate. Also, they are more likely to give birth, which poses a risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer. As compared to heterosexuals, lesbians, and bisexual women are exposed to prevalent risks such as smoking, substance abuse, and obesity. From this point, it can be argued that the Latina and the African-American bisexual women and lesbians have the lowest preventative cancer screening rates as compared to other women within the country (Cahill, 2017). Flower suggests that trust is offered to consumers to reduce healthcare costs. Such that having a healthcare provider that can be trustful is critical because if there is no trust, strategies can fail to function (Moody et al., 2016). However, healthcare is being provided in an adversarial "gotcha" procedure, which precluded a trusted partner relationship as a sign to mitigate risk.


Aristotle argues that pathos puts the audience into a particular frame of mind. In essence, pathos is a persuasion model that aims at convincing audiences about an argument by creating emotional responses to a compelling story or an impassioned plea. In both articles, the writers elaborate on the emotional reactions that are fueled by the high cost of health care (Cahill, 2017). In the article Make America sick Again, the authors reveal to the readers that the reduction of Ryan White HIV/ AIDS program would make it difficult for the people with these pre-existing health care condition such as the elderly adults to accesses affordable health care insurance which in turns lowers the health benefits for those who strives to keep their coverage. In other words, these changes pose detrimental harm to people with chronic diseases, PLWH, and LGBT. In the article US Healthcare is Broken, Flower argues that people are likely to express their emotional, physical, and financial burden over diseases, which leads to poverty.

Further, Flower asserts that employers have responded emotionally to deploy various tactics to reduce the health care cuts. The idea has mostly been supported by self-funding, which is through the use of a captive insurance company (Moody et al., 2016). The strategies have helped the employers to directly pay the direct health care cost, which also creates more control over the system. The employees have been turned into a savvier shopper by using self-funding approaches and other approaches such as captive insurance companies where they get direct incentives from the employer.


Aristotle asserts that logos are apparent proofs provided by the speech. In essence, logos is a mode of convincing audiences with figures, facts, and reasons (Cahill, 2017). In the article Make America Sick Again, the author reveals that the US house bill shall end the Medicaid expansion by reducing Medicaid spending with approximately $1 trillion in a few decades (Cahill, 2017). Thus, it shall allow every state to opt-out of the affordable care act provisions that deal with essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions such as HIV/STD screening and cancer. In the states that pursued Medicaid expansion, about 138 of the federal poverty levels from low-income earners can be given coverage based on income (Cahill, 2017). The concept has been helpful for low-income PLWH and LGBT people who could not access Medicaid in the past since they never had a disability or dependent children. For instance, in Alabama State, a family comprising of three people had to earn less than 16% of the FPL-$3221 annually to access Medicaid. In other states such as Texas, the cut-off is 19% (Cahill, 2017). A decrease of about 22% to 11 % was witnessed among bisexual adults, gays, lesbians, and gay between early 2015 and mid-2013 (Cahill, 2017). In 2014 the percentage of uninsured transgender people with income reduced from 59% in the previous year to 35. So far, 31 states have embraced Medicaid expansion, people, without AIDS diagnosis, and those without children can still access coverage even when they are poor. The Kaiser Family Foundation and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the percentage of people with HIV and lack health insurance to account for about 22% in 2012, which later reduced to 15% in 2014. The drop-in rate was a result of the implementation of essential health care reform provisions. The Kaiser Family Foundation also reported that the percentage of uninsured people dropped from 2013 to 2015 in various demographics. These major drops include; from 14% to 7% among the Asian-Americans; from 19% to 11% for African-Americans; from 12% to 7% for non-Hispanic whites; and 30% to 21% for non-elderly Latinos (Cahill, 2017). The drop in percentage among African-Americans and Latino aided the alleviation of structural drivers towards ethnic health disparities in the United States.

Based on these facts, one can argue that inadequate health insurance may lead to a lack of access to routine preventive care, which poses a structural cause of inequalities between the minorities and the whites. The article argues that Latino and African-Americans are subjected to higher disparities. For instance, people aged 64 who earn an annual income of $26,500 would see their insurance premium increases from $1700 per year under the Affordable Care Act to a range of $ 13600 and $ 16100 under the Republican plan. Flower argues in the article US Healthcare is Broken that a specific group is more likely to use more services as compared to others. (Moody et al., 2016). American history supports that about 5% of the population uses about half the cost of coverage with about the vast majority of extra costs charged on poorly-treated chronic disease.

In conclusion, in both articles, the authors reveal the cost of health care that affects most Americans by using the modes of persuasion, such as ethos, pathos, and logos. Under ethos, the articles have expounded that the per capita funding would be tied to the general inflation rate, which may lead to reducing medical inflation. In the context of pathos, people are likely to express their emotional, physical, and financial burden over diseases, which leads to poverty. In the context of logos, it can be suggested that the states that pursued Medicaid expansion have about 138 percent of the federal poverty levels from low-income earners who are given coverage based on income.


Cahill, S. (2017). Make America Sick Again. The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, 24(5), 21.

Moody et al. (2016). Healthcare Is Broken: Indianapolis Vol. 159(9), 164-165.

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