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Course Project Part III

This week’s work will focus on the key interest groups for your policy topic, the policy preferences of political parties, and legislative activity in the policy area.

To complete this assignment, perform the following tasks:

Determine whether your chosen policy is important to the general population.

Identify the key interest groups actively involved in the policy area and the policy preferences of the interest groups. Are there competing interest groups?

Identify the policy preferences of the political parties in the policy area.

Identify a legislative activity that affects the policy and the key legislative actors. Is the legislature of your state actively involved in this issue? If so, explain how it is actively involved in this issue. If not, explain how it can be actively involved in this issue.

Incorporate feedback and new learning from

Week 1

and

Week 2

into a mid-semester compilation of your research project up to this point. Make sure to include the new material from this week.

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Week 1 Project
Natalee Armstrong
South University
8/22/2022
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Public Policy in the US Federal System
A citizenry is faced with various matters that influence the quality of life or the
country’s state in one way or another. In most cases, governments are put in place to ensure that
these matters that arise in the country are dealt with in the most amicable way that benefits all
involved parties. In dealing with the issues, the most common solutions that government comes
up with are in the form of policies developed and implemented to ensure the matter is dealt with
any time it arises. Policies are formulated principles that form the foundation of the social laws
of a country (Blumberg et al., 2018). Different countries have different ways of formulating
principles depending on the government’s structure. For example, in the United States, the
government takes the structure of the federal and the local governments, which is modeled after
the federal government with three main branches; the legislative, executive, and judicial
branches. The federal and local governments play an important role in policy making and
implementation that go hand in hand to ensure the citizens get the best government services.
As established, public policy aims to solve issues the public faces daily. These issues
can vary from education, employment, environment, security, and healthcare. Healthcare is one
of the most important issues in American society today as it impacts almost all other sectors,
either directly or indirectly (Shi & Singh, 2022). Healthcare is broad and covers a vast area of
issues involving the health of the citizens, and as such, the healthcare policy in itself is quite
complex and broad since it has to ensure all the healthcare areas are adequately covered.
Healthcare policy determines how healthcare is accessed and administered to the citizens in a
way that is acceptable and to the required standards. Therefore, the healthcare policy has several
laws and policies within it to provide regulation on each specific matter concerning health care.
The policies may cover various areas such as patient care, drugs and pharmaceuticals, employee
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health, security, and privacy policies. These areas entail laws such as the Healthcare Quality
Improvement Act of 1968, which aims at protecting medical professionals from unwarranted
lawsuits; Medicare which advocates for an insurance policy to cover healthcare services for
Americans and the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which is a comprehensive Act covering ideas
presented in various previous policies to ensure medical insurance cover for Americans (Gaffney
& McCormick, 2017).
Healthcare policy aims to assure the people of high-quality healthcare that is affordable
and accessible to all. The laws put in place ensure the patients are protected from exploitation in
the name of providing healthcare services by unscrupulous corporations that view medical
services as an opportunity to amass profit (Sommers et al., 2017). Apart from protection,
healthcare policies ensure healthcare is accessible for those in need. For example, the Medicaid
legislation ensures that people from the low-income bracket can access subsidized healthcare
services. The sensitivity that comes with healthcare necessitates that any actions taken within the
parameters of the medical care services remain confidential to the involved parties. Security and
privacy policies such as the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 ensure that the
patient’s information remains confidential by imposing fines on anyone who breaches it. While
healthcare policies protect the patients, they also protect the medical practitioners and ensure
they have a conducive environment to execute their duties with the utmost professionalism (Shi
& Singh, 2022). The policies protecting all the involved parties provide room for quality
healthcare services that benefit the country in the form of a healthy nation. Developing the
policies is similarly important as it dictates what policies are set and how they are implemented.
With the developments in society’s economic, social, and political aspects, some of the
policies made over the years regarding healthcare have lost relevance or become obsolete in the
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current prevailing conditions. Due to these changes, the government has developed amendments
and new policies to ensure they cover the current issues in the sector. For instance, the
Affordable Care Act of 2010 is an upgrade to the healthcare coverage policies put in place in the
1900s to advocate for universal health care. With changes in government, different regimes come
with different ideologies and perceptions of how things should be depending on their goals
(Singer & Wilson, 2021). These changes influence the policies formulated, making it necessary
that laws and regulations change with time. Similarly, health care being a crucial part of society
has made it among the most effective tools of campaigns with politicians using the promise of
better health care policies to gain popularity with the people. As it stands, the implementation of
some of the health care policies has had strong opposition from those who question their
effectiveness, making it hard for the policies to achieve their goals (Blumberg et al., 2018).
However, the policies are still functional and cover the concerning issues regarding the health of
Americans. One of the most vital issues the policies cover is affordability and quality of
healthcare services. For instance, Medicaid is still effective, and it has increased coverage with
new laws such as the Affordable Care Act.
It is the government’s responsibility to formulate the policies for its citizens and ensure
they serve to improve the people’s lives. Each level of government has a crucial role in health
care policy, with the federal, state, and local governments sharing responsibilities on the matter
according to the mandate allowed by the constitution (National Library of Medicine, 2022).
Local governments are more responsible for implementing the policies made by the state or
federal governments. In some cases, local governments are required to share the financial burden
of implementing the policies. However, the federal government does the majority of the
financing of the health care policies. Local governments are more concerned with delivering
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healthcare services and may develop policies that assist their functionality within their areas of
jurisdiction. The state governments are vital in formulating the healthcare policies as the state
departments are helpful in the identification of matters that need attention and provide input on
what interventions work best for the various health issues (National Library of Medicine, 2022).
The state governments are more influential than the local governments in developing healthcare
policies and regulation laws.
The federal government oversees the policy development and implementation process,
while it is also the level of government that offers the most finances to the healthcare sector
(National Library of Medicine, 2022). The federal government, through its three branches, the
judiciary, legislative and executive, formulate policies that are adapted throughout the country.
The legislative and executive branches of the federal government are essential in the decisionmaking process for which policies best suit the country. While the judiciary contributes to the
policy-making process, it is not to the extent of the legislature and executive. Although the state
and federal governments have concurrent powers in policy making and funding healthcare
policies, the federal government supervises healthcare policy development. It, therefore, has
more authority than the state and local governments. However, according to the constitution, the
state and subsidiary local governments take the primary responsibility for public health care.
Therefore, the state and local governments execute specific duties that the federal government is
not charged with by the constitution. For instance, the state governments play a regulatory role
that businesses and individuals within the state do not act in a manner that endangers others. This
responsibility is mainly fulfilled through licensing or inspections by bodies instituted by the state
government. Apart from policy-making and funding, the federal government is also mandated to
provide management of services which may sometimes overstep the responsibilities of the state
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governments (National Library of Medicine, 2022). However, the involvement of both
government levels follows the provisions in the constitution.
The healthcare system of the United States of America consists of three systems; the
frontline microsystems, the mesosystems, and the macrosystems (Duquesne university, 2020).
The frontline microsystems mainly deal with hospital systems and are influenced by the
organization policy, which is influenced by local government policy. The mesosystem entails
state-level policy and is influenced by the state government. The macrosystems reach a larger
market for healthcare services and tend to be regulated by the federal government. The
constitution charges the local and state governments with the primary responsibility for health
care. Although the policy development process is a concurrent responsibility between the state
and the federal government, the federal government has more power over policy formulation.
This power distribution has been effective with the federal government overseeing the policies
adopted for the country while the state governments get involved in regulation policies within
their region of governance. The federal government has more resources for a generalized
development of policies with its branches, that is, the legislature and executive working together
to formulate all-inclusive laws. However, at times the policies developed by the federal
government may overlook certain areas of the country (Braithwaite, 2018).
Health care is an important sector of the country; therefore, the authorities involved
must be well equipped with the knowledge and expertise required to formulate policies regarding
the matter. However, in most cases, the people or leaders involved in policy development
pertaining to health care lack the input of professionals within the field. Therefore, the policies
often end up unrealistic or fail to cover the core issues that need addressing. The fact that the
federal government has more constitutional mandate over the state governments in policy
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formulation means that there are probabilities of authorities implementing irrelevant laws in
certain areas. Policy formulation must be specific and detailed to cater to problems experienced
in a particular region, and as such, state and local governments should have more mandate in the
policy formulation process (Braithwaite, 2018).
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References
Blumberg, L. J., Holahan, J., & Zuckerman, S. (2018). The Healthy America Program. Urban
Institute, May.
Braithwaite, J. (2018). Changing how we think about healthcare improvement. BMJ, k2014.
https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2014
Duquesne University. (2020). How Healthcare Policy is Formed | Duquesne University.
Duquesne University School of Nursing. Retrieved 24 August 2022, from
https://onlinenursing.duq.edu/blog/healthcare-policy-formed/.
Gaffney, A., & McCormick, D. (2017). The Affordable Care Act: implications for health-care
equity. The Lancet, 389(10077), 1442-1452. https://doi.org/10.1016/s01406736(17)30786-9
National Library of Mediciine. (2022). The Governmental Public Health Infrastructure.
Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 24 August 2022, from
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221231/.
Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2022). Essentials of the US health care system. Jones & Bartlett
Learning.
Singer, P., & Willison, C. (2021). Rhetoric and Reality in the United States of America: Trump,
Populism and Health Policy. The Populist Radical Right and Health, 157-167.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-70709-5_9
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Sommers, B., Gawande, A., & Baicker, K. (2017). Health Insurance Coverage and Health —
What the Recent Evidence Tells Us. New England Journal of Medicine, 377(6), 586593. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmsb1706645

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