Affordable Care Act: A health care policy for future

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Health policy can be described as the plans, decisions, and actions undertaken with an objective of attaining specific health care goals. It is important to have an explicit health policy because it outlines future vision, which in turn facilitates the development of targets and reference points for both the medium and short-term goals. Most importantly, an explicit health policy defines the priorities and the anticipated roles of all the affected people. The success of any given health care policy depends greatly on how well the implementation and policy making process is carried out. The success also depends on the commitments of various stakeholders, such as legislative committees and the state, in performing their respective roles and responsibilities.

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act, a health care policy in the US has been discussed in this paper. The analysis is conducted by Assignment Help which involves identifying how the Affordable Care Act can be implemented to allow American citizens enjoy all the benefits that come following a successful implementation. Since the policy is already in existence, the goal of this policy proposal is meant to make the legislators comprehend the value of calling for a full implementation of the health care policy. The paper includes a description of the health policymaking process, identifies the interest groups and key stakeholders involved, the drivers of health policy formulation, and the responsibilities of legislative committees. The impact of individuals and groups, that of advocacy methods, and the role of private and public regulatory agencies are also included in this paper.

The health policy making process

According to Clavier & de Leeuw (2013), the health policymaking process describes the specific decisions and occurrences that are needed for any policy to be proposed, evaluated, and implemented. In other words, an interactive process comprises of multiple access points and helps to offer opportunities that influence decision makers within different stages of policymaking. For this particular proposal, the policy making process involves three major phases namely the formulation phase, implementation phase, and the evaluation phase. However, this process will focus on the implementation phase because the selected health care policy, Affordable Care Act, has already passed the formulation stage.

Information need for health policy development

From the existing research, it is apparent that the proposed policy is very important. As mentioned by Koh & Sebelius (2010), both the insurers and the insured are fleeing the Affordable Care Act citing financial reasons, a trend that is likely to lead to the collapse of one of the key healthcare systems in the United States. Although the Affordable Care Act recorded a considerable level of success in its first year of operation, many Americans remain uninsured. This is contrary to the president’s imagination that almost all Americans would access quality and affordable care following a successful launching of the Affordable Care Act. Since the policy was compulsory, it was expected that Americans would sign up, a situation that would lead to more cash being injected into the system. Some of the cash would then be used to finance higher care costs.

To the surprise of many people, a majority of Americans did not follow the law that made it compulsory to sign up for the health care policy. Many of them opted to pay tax penalties after failing to obtain medical insurance. It is important to note many people who are enrolling in the Affordable Care Act comprise of those whose medical conditions are very severe and cost insurance companies a significant amount of money compared to what these individuals are paying as premiums. Since such a situation implies that the amount of money entering into the system is less compared to what is going out, there is a high chance that the Affordable Care Act will collapse (Koh&Sebelius, 2010). This is part of the information that will be provided to the legislator to increase her chances of accepting this proposal. By providing alternative sources of funding the selected health care policy, the legislator will see sense in approving the recommendations included in the proposal.

Key stakeholders and interest groups involved in health policymaking

The key stakeholders include the healthcare providers, patients, business owners, employers, and working families. These stakeholders are important in different ways. For instance, healthcare providers stand to a chance receive more funding from the government. Following a successful implementation process, it is an indication that many people will sign up for the policy, a move that will see the funds remitted to the government increase. This will in turn enhance the government’s potential in releasing healthcare funds to the selected healthcare providers. The quality of service delivery will also improve and at the same time make many Americans live a comfortable and healthy life.

As part of the stakeholders, patient will also benefit not only in terms of reduced premiums, but also in terms of those with huge medical bills will also not make extra payments because the health care policy addresses such circumstances. For employers, the total operational costs are likely to go down because they will no longer have to meet medical costs of employees. Non-governmental organizations are a good example of special interest groups that are likely to support the policy. As stated by Talbot &Verrinder (2009), involving such organizations increases the probability that the state and other government agencies will not hesitate to extend the required level of health care financing because the increased pressure to do so. The pressure mostly comes from the nongovernmental organizations that strive to make sure that the government undertakes it tasks and responsibilities in a proper way.

The drivers of health policy formulation

A number of factors are likely to drive the selected health care policy. To start with, there is a great need to make sure that the interests of all the people involved in making all the decisions pertaining to the policy should not conflict in any way. Secondly, all the bodies involved in the policy making process should be held accountable by the members of the public for all the decisions that they make. With such an arrangements, it is likely that the decisions made will not be directed at fulfilling self-interests, but will focus on improving the overall health of all people impacted by the health care policy. Thirdly, the policy makers should ensure that a specific health policy is not enforced by the decision of a few decision makers. Since health care policy affects people differently, it would be necessary to carry out consultations to obtain the views of different people before going ahead to make the final decision that creates room for the implementation process. The success of policy formulation would also be guaranteed when policy makers acknowledge the value of obtaining information from varied sources and make conclusions based on reasonably neutral sources. Lastly, policy makers should utilize an objective criterion to enhance their ability in formulating goals and considering the social parameters when making decisions.

Roles of legislative committees

The main role of the legislative committees will involve establishing whether clients meet all the requirements before they can proceed to sign up for the health care policy. The committee will also make sure that client follow all the outlined rules and regulations whenever they are making claims on compensation.in other words, the committee must make sure that all the client meets all the conditions before he or she can enjoy the benefits associated with the health care policy.

The role of the local, state, and federal in health policy development

To facilitate the development of the health policy, the local, state, and federal will engage in different roles that include the following. For instance, the local government will be expected to carry out campaigns that are aimed at increasing the general community awareness on the selected health care policy. It will also be the responsibility of local and state government to make arrangements that provide a means of participation for all the people impacted the health care policy. The state and local health departments will also carry out additional roles such as educating and training policy makers about a wide range of health issues, providing updates about important health issues, and educating the citizens on the importance of signing up to the health care policy.

Impact of individuals and groups on health policy development

So far, stakeholder interest groups and individual stakeholders have not shown any commitment in developing similar policies. The government undertook most of the policies that were done previously. In the United States, Medicaid and Medicare are good examples of health care policies that the government introduced in an attempt to make sure that Americans had access to quality and affordable health care.

Impact of advocacy methods on health policy development

The previous advocacy methods were not a success. When the Affordable Care Actwas launched some few years back, the level of legislation was low, a situation that made many Americans not to sign up for the policy. Although the policy was compulsory, many people ignored and instead opted to pay the penalties that were imposed on those who never signed up.

The local, state, and federal policy implementation processes

Largely, public regulatory agency will be involved in implementing the policy. Specifically, the insurance commissioner of the state will oversee the entire implementation processes. However, the state will also offer some input especially when implementing the process. Sensitizing people on the significance of the health care policy will be the responsibility of the local government. In case of need to enact reforms to facilitate the smooth operation of the policy, the state will be expected to provide guidelines that show the exact way through which reforms will be undertaken.

 Role of the federal government

A major role of the federal government will be to enforce regulations and laws that ensure safety and protect health. Most importantly, the federal government has a duty to ensure that medical insurance companies do not exploit the citizens by setting exaggerated premiums. In addition, the federal government has the responsibility of ensuring that a legal procedure is followed when carrying out adjustments on the health care policy in the future.

Roles of public and private regulatory agencies

As mentioned by Walshe (2002), both the private and public regulatory agencies have a role to play when it comes to implementing health care policies. For instance, the public regulatory agencies are tasked with the responsibility of making sure that the due procedure is followed whenever people are signing up for health care policies. It is the work of the public agency to make sure that anyone who signs up meets all the requirements set by the government. For the selected health care policy, the private agencies has limited role. Private agencies mostly come in when the success of the policybeing implemented does not depend on the effort undertaken by the government. In many cases, private entities are involved in formulating and introducing the health care policy.

Conclusion

In recap, it is evident that the Affordable Care Act will go a long way in helping the citizens to access quality and affordable health care. Although the policy has been in existence for a considerable time, many people have not been in a position to enjoy the full benefits associated with the policy. This is due to the absence of proper legislation and sensitization the value of being part of the policy. However, with the new measures highlighted in this proposal will help in increasing the number of people who can access quality care following a successful implementation.

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Jack Thomas

An education enthusiast. Always looking around for creative solutions to complex problems.

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