Overtime, the United States has been listed as one of the best performing country in terms of providing health aid to its citizens. The federal and state government subsidized insurance systems such as Medicare and Medicaid to make it possible for the middle and low class citizens, employed individuals, disabled and senior populations to avail of low cost health consultations and medications.
Moreover, the government’s health policies every now and then are being subjected to reforms in an attempt to address the different issues surrounding healthcare program. Some people argued that healthcare program should not be included as part of political agenda.
Yet other people argue that since the government is the one responsible for providing and maintaining the security of its citizen, then any subject concerning health and wellness cannot be separated from politics. As for me, one of the undertakings of the government is to ensure the security of its citizens and health, being a primary concern of every individual, is synonymous to security.
Republicans versus Democrats on Reforming Healthcare
As politics cannot be separated from the issues of reforming U.S. healthcare program, one of the most important things to look inside the American politics is the oppositions of Republicans and Democrats. It has been observed that the two parties have different approach on solving the health crisis.
While the Democrats headed by President Barack Obama agrees to cut the costs of government on its healthcare program while aiming to extend the accessibility of healthcare to most marginalized groups, the Republicans hold that the government should allow the privatization of the healthcare system and leave the improvement of the program to the business sector.
According to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, another solution to healthcare crisis being lobbied by the Republicans is to give the citizens a tax credit so that they could purchase their own insurance.
However, such solution, for me, does not aim to ensure healthcare accessibility to everyone since the most marginalized group would prefer not to seek consultation and medication due to financial, cultural and social barriers. Having a Democrat leader allows the healthcare program to remain a part of the government’s responsibility. Thus, President Obama implemented a policy that is known as the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Since the administration of President Obama believes that a comprehensive reform should be done on the healthcare system of the United States, in February 2009 the President passed into a bill the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The act aims to reduce the costs of businesses and government on healthcare, protect families from debt and bankruptcy due to high cost of health consultations and medications, assure affordable yet quality health services, expands healthcare accessibility to everyone and to invest in disease prevention and health wellness (The White House, 2009).
In order to ensure the achievement of Health reform objectives through the Recovery Act, the government allotted 64 percent of the fiscal funding to health expenditures.
According to a press release from the White House, the health budget will include $19 billion for the computerization of all medical records which in turn will reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare service; $1 billion for disease prevention and health wellness which aims to cut disease occurrences thus saving medical costs;
$1.1 billion for health research where medical professionals will be working to draw objective information that would ensure benefits of treatment among patients; and $500 million for the health workforce which will be allotted for the improvement of health trainings which will be given to succeeding medical professionals (The White House, 2009).
Moreover, in an attempt to expand the accessibility of healthcare, President Obama also signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act which aims to expand the U.S. health insurance system to cover the low-income children. With these initial measures, there is no doubt that the healthcare program will later be made available and affordable to every living household member regardless of their age and role in their community.
Other Health Programs that Should be Addressed
Being an active citizen, I have observed that while the government is aiming for the cutting of health costs, they should also address the increasing medical staff shortage.
It is an observed fact that the nation is lacking on the numbers of medical practitioners and professionals who would address the increasing health problems of the large population. On the instances that a large number of medical professionals are available, they are mostly concentrated in the urban o city areas. Thus, the government should also develop a program that would encourage the increase of health professionals and the improvement of the health services in remote communities.
Hoyer, S. (2009). Will Republicans work with democrats for health care reform? Retrieved June 11, 2009, from http://majorityleader.gov/docUploads/HealthCarePartyofNo050809.pdf.
The White House. (2009). Health care. Retrieved June 11, 2009, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/health_care/.