July 6, 2011
The Policy Process: Part I
Patient access to affordable health care is an ongoing issue in the United States. The first portion of the policy process involves three different stages, the formulation stage, legislative stage, and the implementation stage. Three main stages exist in the process to transform a topic into a policy (Morone, J. A., Litman, T. J., & Robins, L.S., 2008). Coupled with the implementation stage is an evaluation of all the stages to determine effectiveness and gather information for use in future public health care policy making. In the formulation stage, the ideas, concepts, and information steam from this process of policy making. The evaluation process is defined as the stage where deliberations, discussions, debates, and justifications are done. The implementation phase occurs when the adopted policy is acted upon (Abood, 2007). In the United States the government finances health care for the elderly, blind, and the disabled with low income and limited resources. With the help of the economy over the years, health care clearly developed into the largest growing health field since 1975 (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). This paper will focus on the first three portions of how the process takes place within Medicaid. Formulation Stage
The first stage of the process is the Formulation Stage, which by definition is the “first and often most challenging stage in using formal decision methods (and in decision analysis in particular). The Formulation Stage also includes a lot of extensive research from different individuals, various organizations, and different types of interest groups. The main purpose of the formulation stage is to create a formal example of the given decision,” (Wikipedia, 2010). At this point those individuals over the age of 65 had little to no access to health insurance and other individuals had inadequate health care coverage. The American people rejected the idea of the government mandating health insurance year after year prior to Johnson singing the bill into effect in 1965. American’s returned year after year pursing different concepts and ideas to receive some sort of health insurance concept passed. Whether it meant spreading information, ideas or by deliberately starting rumors that certain items were paid by government funds to get the bill passed. After the Medicaid bill was formulated, the bill had to be sent through a debate phase or what can be better defined as the Legislation Stage. Legislative Stage
The definition for Legislative Stage “is the introduction of a bill in the House of Assembly by a member of the Assembly. The next stage is for the bill to be called for second reading. Except by unanimous consent, second reading may not begin until the bill has been printed and distributed to the members and this has been signified on the order paper. The next stage is for the bill to be called for third reading. Unless the House of Assembly orders third reading to begin immediately, third reading takes place on a future day,” (Legislation Process, 2006). The Medicaid debate has been, was, and still is a large expansion of public health care. The bill contained a wide variety of public health issue as well as covering every type of health coverage for children, blind, and low-income families. Implementation Stage
The final stage that will be discussed in this paper is the implementation stage in which is considered to be the expression portion of the decision stage. Through different methods like policies, mechanisms, and legislation implementation is born. It is at this point that the decisions made by the correct individuals when situations come to life. On the downside the implementation stage is one of the most difficult tasks when acquiring to deal and confront already existing cultures. “The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 (Public...