Choose a health policy issue in your workplace or community that is related to health care cost, quality, or access, and then discuss the following questions:
What are the principal features of U.S. health policy, and what are the various stages in the policy cycle?
What is the role of public opinion in policy making?
What strategies and tools can be employed by various stakeholder groups?
What is the relationship between states and the federal government in policy making?
What has been the impact of presidential leadership on health policies?
How and why have health reform proposals been unsuccessful in the past?
Review the information in your textbook, and use material resources on the U.S. policy process and the political environment. You may need to conduct additional research to support your analysis.
Healthcare Policy Issue
One of the major health policy issues experienced in the community includes the rising healthcare costs. Even though the U.S. spends more financial resources on healthcare than any other country worldwide, Americans still incur more out-of-pocket expenses to finance their healthcare services (Dieleman et al., 2017). This has been associated with various factors, including high drug prices. In 2019, the U.S. spent about $ 3.8 trillion. Besides, the country expects the costs to rise to $6.2 trillion by 2028 (O’Shea, 2021).
The principal features of U.S. health policy and the various stages in the policy cycle?
One of the key elements of the U.S. health policy is that the government serves as a subordinate to the private sector. The private sector leads as the U.S. government takes a back seat in developing health policies. Thus, there is less involvement from the government in health policy. The key feature is that the decentralized role of the states. Every state has control over its health policy decisions, making it hard to develop a cohesive national health care policy. State government have the responsibility to finance the indigent and disabled through comprehensive health care initiatives.
The policymaking process involves various key stages. The first stage is agenda setting, where the problem is identified and defined. The second stage is formulation. Here, the policymakers propose policies to resolve the issue. The third stage is adoption, where policies formulated are put into practice. The fourth stage is implementation and administration. The last stage is evaluation. This stage aims at determining the effectiveness of the policies implemented.
Role of Public Opinion in Policymaking
Public opinion serves various vital roles in policymaking. One of them is to inform public policymaking. People express their views through public polling, whereby they vote to support their opinions regarding a given policy. The public poling informs the policymakers how policies affect people’s lives and therefore considers the public views in making policy decisions. Also, public views inform the policymakers where education may be necessary to help people understand their policy options.
Strategies and Tools can be employed by Various Stakeholder Groups
Some of the key stakeholders involved in healthcare policy include healthcare providers, insurance companies, and the government. These stakeholders utilize various tools to influence healthcare policy. One of them includes advocacy. Healthcare providers join various advocacy institutions such as the American Nursing Association to propose healthcare policies (Fadlallah et al., 2019). The other tool is lobbying. This allows stakeholder groups to influence the decision of the policymakers (Fadlallah et al., 2019).
The Relationship between States and the Federal Government in Policymaking
The federal government has the responsibility to control and formulate laws specified by the U.S. constitution. The constitution gives the government express and implied powers in policymaking. Express powers are outlined in the Constitution. Implied powers comprise the authorities Congress has to regulate health policy that are derived from the express powers. An example of the federal government’s powers includes the coining of money (Schwartz, 2017). On the other hand, the state government has broad powers to make laws or policies within state boundaries. For instance, the state government can make any laws that provide for its citizens’ general health, safety, and welfare. Although, the state cannot formulate laws that conflict with federal laws.
The Impact of Presidential Leadership on Health Policies
The president is responsible for implementing and enforcing health policies that are written by Congress. The president is granted the responsibility to sign into law legislation or veto bills created by Congress. Also, the president has the power to appoint members of the Cabinet and independent federal agencies who are assigned the roles of executing the day-to-day administration of the national health policies (Edwards III et al., 2020).
How and why have Health Reform Proposals been Unsuccessful in the Past?
For over 15 years not, the proposals from various individuals, including President Roosevelt, President Truman, Ford, George Bush, and Clinton, to reform the entire U.S. healthcare system has failed. One of the reasons why the health reform fails includes the economic self-interest of critical players. There are many well-financed and organized health care industries and trade organizations are afraid making losing, and thus resist the change (Harrill & Melon, 2021).