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Every individual dreams about accessing quality healthcare services irrespective of their financial status. However, this is unrealistic in a normal social set up. To cater for the cost likely to be incurred when seeking treatment, the government has introduced schemes, such as health care insurance. This scheme is formulated in a manner that they cover treatment costs for an individual, but they are paid accordingly only after premiums. Failure by some people to afford premiums has denied them the benefits of healthcare insurance. This problem is real especially in America despite the fact that the country is considered economically able. According to a report by the current population survey (CPS), 45.5 million people in America, mainly non-elderly lack health insurance (Genevieve et al., 2006). In addition, the uninsured cost the United States government about 40 billion dollars per year, making the total cost of healthcare 1.7 trillion dollars annually. These statistics show that the uninsured are not only suffering in terms of healthcare services, but are also a burden to the government. Therefore, there is the need to have a comprehensive health policy for the uninsured in order to eliminate this problem. This paper presents a systematic approach that can be utilized in developing such a policy. Useful stages in the process include evaluation stage, analysis stage and revision stage. It is important to describe the purpose and methodologies that are appropriate.
Formulating a Health Policy
A health policy is a set of stipulated rules that are specifically crafted to guide in decision-making. An effective policy should also be able to provide room for the best proposals and help in evaluation of a certain healthcare program. Currently, the healthcare policy for the uninsured is not based on the market dynamics. This means that the system is not sensitive to the critical factors, such as control of costs and patient protection. Therefore, need to have a policy that is cost sensitive and sensitive to patient rights is indispensable. This means that the government should focus on making healthcare affordable to those who are uninsured. In addition, the policy should be innovative given the fact that life styles and demand are dynamic. According to the patient’s protection and affordable care act (ACA), the government should change their regulatory techniques to match the current demands (Gable, 2011). Therefore, a vigorous policy shoud have increased financing from the government and at the same time increased incentives given to the healthcare players. Other holistic measures should be including in a health policy for the uninsured with more focus being on the cost since it is key in cases of the uninsured.
Evaluation and Revision of a Policy
One of the most crucial facets of a health policy is how it captures the greater perspectives within the healthcare system. In other words, the policy should be universal and touching on most fundamental issues of healthcare. According to McLaughlin (2004, p. 7), a properly formulated policy should be evaluated by looking at who, why and what the policy brings to the targeted population. This means that the policy should be evaluated at the number of uninsured that it would reach. A positive sign will mean that the policy is effective and in case the number of people reached drops, then the policy is likely to be ineffective. On the other hand, the policy should touch on all members of the society in a balanced manner, meaning that there are no biases. Another useful evaluation technique should focus on how the policy covers the nation. An effective policy should be able to cover different parts of the nation fairly.
The world trade organization defines an evaluation to a health policy as a tool used to measure performance or the output likely to be realized from a policy. The global health body proposes several ways of carrying out evaluation, which are at the same time utilized in the examination of a policy. Epidemiological information is heavily used when doing an evaluation of a health policy. In this case, the use of epidemiology is also recommended. This refers to the act of looking at how different diseases affect people in a certain period. This gives the statistical implications of disease, meaning that the effectiveness of a policy can be evaluated this way. Therefore, the objectives of a policy are measured against the effect it has caused on the epidemiology of a certain disease. This should focus on the uninsured since their trends in terms of epidemiology vary from that of the insured. In addition, the reception that a policy receives by various stakeholders is also critical. Finding out the fact on such basis is also valuable when evaluating a policy. This will be significant when it comes to evaluate both long and short-term goals that a policy aims to achieve.
Revision of a health ppolicy is substantial if the valuation process is successful and effective (McLaughlin & Craig, 2008). This means that proper evaluation will lead to proper revision. Just like a program, a health policy can be revised basing on evaluation. Revision of a policy should be founded on the weaknesses of hurdles encountered or likely to be encountered during implementation. For instance, health policies are usually subjected to many debates, especially from the politicians. The Obama care currently being undertaken in the United States is one such policy that is eliciting fierce debates. Therefore, any evaluation that will reveal fierce debates should be revised to match at least most if not all views. This will make it easier to implement and hence benefit the uninsured. For example, costs to both the taxpayer and the government should be adjusted appropriately. This is because these are the two most common mistakes noted in most policies.
Evaluation and revision of a policy is vital processes that determine the fate of a policy. In an attempt to revaluate and revise a policy, it is usually advisable that the best methods are adopted for this purpose. First, assessments should be based on the results likely to be achieved or already achieved on the ground if a policy has already been implemented (Gable, 2011). First, the validity of any data collected should be analyzed in order to be sure that a particular change is necessary. The method that should be used in doing so should be by use of estimates from authoritative sources. This gives accurate observations and hence guaranteed suitable revisions of a policy.
Similarly, revision should be based on other pertinent non-health players. This should include financial intuitions, insurance companies, and government. This is to allow a holistic incorporation of ideas from other stakeholder. It is worth noting, that healthcare for uninsured is mainly influenced by financial implications bring. In conclusion, an effective health policy for uninsured should focus on the monetary implications that it carries. The number of uninsured in already large and still growing, implying that the problem will persist, if the policies are not evaluated properly and revised as the demand dictates. The methods used to do so should be based on fact-findings from the ground and the relevant authorities, such as the government, financial institutions the targeted population among others. Otherwise, a policy can be faulty if such factors are not considered.
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