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Public Policy in
The Health Insurance Issue
By Ali Ivkovic
What is the health insurance problem?
The United States is the one of the only
wealthy nations not to have health
insurance for all it’s citizens. The
nature of the industry has become
unfriendly toward the consumer and
favors the insurers making money over
Americans well being.
Why is health care reform important?
According to the New York Times in 2007
the United States spent 2.24 trillion
dollars on health care. With no cohesive
form of insurance many people can’t
afford the incredibly high prices of
receiving medical care. Health care reform
is needed in order to ensure all Americans
are able to receive the advanced medical
technology that this country offers.
Gambling with having insurance isn’t
safe for this country.
Who are the major stakeholders?
First and foremost the American public holds a great stake in health
care reform. Their safety and financial stability are greatly at risk.
The government also has a large stake in health care reform as their
previous policy has clearly failed and they must now provide subsidies
to insurers and tax breaks to people who can’t afford insurance.
The insurance agencies also have a lot of stake in this issue because
when new reform is passed they don’t want to lose the profits they have
How did this issue arrive on the agenda?
Health care reform is something that has been discussed and debated
for many years. Overall it arrived on the agenda because of demand
from American citizens as well as pressure from the media. The current
system is failing Americans. People can’t afford to get treatment
necessary for them to live their lives. It’s too easy for private insurers to
turn people down and as a result Americans have paid the price. The
issue arrived on the agenda out of necessity from a situation that
couldn’t continue any longer.
As this graph shows American’s who don’t
work for large companies have a large
disadvantage in receiving health insurance.
What policies have been created to address this issue?
As many know President Obama’s administration put together a
health care reform bill that different versions of which passed through
both the House and the Senate
Some key aspects of the bill are:
It would cost 940 Billion dollars over ten years.
32 Million Americans who are currently uninsured would receive
Subsidies would be available for people who can’t afford insurance with
the income they make.
The bill will take place in stages over the next 8 years.
This video breaks down a few key
components of the health care reform bill.
How is this policy implemented?
Perhaps one of the biggest arguments against this policy is it’s
implementation. What the governments role really is in
healthcare is difficult to determine.
Overall the federal government offers subsidies and tax cuts to
people in order to try and provide them with the ability to
Both the state and federal government have to be involved in the
implementation of the bill.
How does the health care reform bill solve
the original problem?
The current health care reform bill only takes some steps in solving the
original problem of health care reform.
With so many people disagreeing on what is best for health care in the
US reaching one conclusion seems impossible.
Some argue that nationalized insurance would be better while others
argue against the delays this can cause in medical care.
Others believe that the government shouldn’t interfere with health care
and it should continue to be privately run.
Many fall in between which is what this bill attempts to accomplish.
Is this policy true reform?
Overall yes, this policy is true reform. Perhaps the length over which it’s
effects take place is the greatest testament to this. The later parts of this
bill are scheduled to take place in 2018.
The bill’s goal is to help American’s obtain insurance and not allow
individual insurers to charge too much for insurance.
The bill’s intent is also to make lasting changes not temporary fixes.
This video provides a summary of the pros
and cons of the health care bill for the
Will this bill be changed?
Considering that the bill only passed through the house of
representatives by a vote of 219-212 it is very likely that the bill will be
changed over time.
The bill has gained underwhelming support from much of America
and no Republican support.
Many debates for the upcoming elections have included ideas of trying
to repeal the act.
While it is unlikely the act will be repealed it is likely that changes to
the United States health care reform will continue to appear.
Should this policy be stopped?
No I don’t believe that this policy should be stopped or repealed.
America’s healthcare industry needs some reforming and at the
minimum this bill provides the beginning of this.
However it is necessary that the bill continues to grow and change in
order to try and gain more support from American citizens as well as a
small amount of bipartisan support.
Health insurance will continue to be a key issue for the foreseeable
Overall this bill provides the beginning of what is sure to be a long
lasting debate over healthcare.
Like many issues there isn’t one sure answer as to what is the best way to
handle the problem and as administrations change parties it is likely we
will continue to see different approaches to the issue.
As with all public policy issues in America and world wide is unlikely a
clear solution and an agreement will ever be reached.
In the meantime America will continue to expand and try new things
with the ultimate goal of being able to provide as many Americans health
insurance as possible.
One of the biggest things I discovered during this presentation is that
everyone has a strong opinion on how health care should be handled but
agree that the ultimate goal is providing everyone with the ability to get
the best health care possible.