There is a saying that goes that the well-being of the state is reflective of a healthy and abundant citizenry. In contrast, sickness and hunger characterized by poverty manifests social irresponsibility of a government.
One of the measures that safeguard human rights is the protection and preservation of life. The essentiality of life within a governed state is basically a social responsibility and a political will of a government. The welfare and services for health care comprise the three basic components of needs: food, clothing and shelter.
In this regard, this paper will discuss the policy environment on the affordability of people’s welfare and analyze the proportion of policy issues affecting the health care.
Defining Health Care System and Problems
Based on the book, American Public Policy: An Introduction (Cochran, et.al, 2006), the American health care system is basically structured as a combination of private and public institutions without central planning and coordination. Furthermore, based on the book, hospitals re-direct their medical objectives and transforms for-profit services in order to be competitive.
A review on Cochran et.al’s, presentation of issues in the books narrates the merging of government health care services with private institutions through the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s). The HMOs renders in and out-patient treatment but are generally under-utilized to act on preventive health care programs.
Likewise, the HMOs, being a “managed health care program” of the government, are still limited to a functional treatment due insurance procedure brokers availing the program. The passing of the Patient’s Bill of Rights was greatly debated from 1999 to 2001, and addressed issues such as coverage of people’s insurability to HMOs and the medical malpractice and affordability of medicines.
Another issue that poses a significant concern is the under-utilization of HMOs by low-income and ethnic people from suburb areas. Although the issue has been recognized by the US Congress and former President Clinton as an unlimited need, the US government was unable to appropriate the limited resources as substantial equity has been allocated to the HMOs.
Health Care Reforms
The enactment of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 has substantiated the American Health Security Act (AHSA) of 1994, to provide out-patient prescription coverage and increase enrollment in managed care plans (Cochran, et.al, 2006).
Cochran, Clarke E., Mayer, Lawrence C., Carr, T.R., and Cayer, N. Joseph. “American Public Policy: An Introduction”. Thompson/Wadsworth Publishing, 8th Edition. 2006.
Foster, J.D “Benefits of the President’s Proposed Standard Deduction for Health Insurance”. The Heritage Foundation. 28 February 2008 <www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm1799.cfm>
Moffit, Robert E., “The Rationale for a Statewide Health Insurance Exchange”. 2006.
The Heritage Foundation. 28 February 2008