The political system and the medical profession are entangled in many ways. The serious nature of medicine and healing the sick and ill requires a collective guide in order to ensure that proper and sustainable care is offered at all times. When problems arise due to changes in the environment or culture, government officials are often asked to solve these problems that influence a great number of people. In essence, public policy is in the public's best interest according to the democratic functioning of our local, state and federal government agencies that overlook the medical profession in a variety of ways and methods.
The purpose of this essay is to identify how problems become policy issues and how these issues result in the creation of health care policy. Additionally, this essay will address the controversial issue of abortion and provide an understanding of how this policy was created. This essay will also identify the steps in the state and federal policy development process and compare and contrast the similarities and difference between policy development and implantation. The essay will conclude with remarks regarding how the important people, or stakeholders, become involved and how their energy and influence becomes a driving force for transformation and evolution.
Problems Becoming Pubic Issues
The ways in which human nature finds itself in problems is very random and often undetectable. Problems of a collective nature, usually begin when there is a perceived injustice by a person or small group of people Health care is unique however because of the highly ethical nature of saving and healing other people. The medical profession is expected to have high standards of behavior and live up to a more responsible role in society than most other people. The required training and schooling that medical professionals endure suggest that this emphasis on uniqueness comes with many challenges and struggles that test the meddle of those involved.
Hyman (2014) suggested that health care problems that become policies are surrounded and drowned in a myriad of varying distractions based in the concept of money and profits. He wrote "perverse economic incentives drive policy and medical decisions, they are not in the best interest of the patients, and certainly do not have better health outcomes. Violation of public trust, the sacred covenant between our elected leaders and our people, results from money in politics." This confluence of troubles provides a road map of how problems eventually become policy.
Abortion as Example
The health care issue of abortion is a useful example to highlight the problematic area of healthcare and public policy. Abortion is essentially a health care issue and a political issue due to the mysterious nature of conception, life and death. Problems happen when people are scared and do not know what to do or how to act. Fear creeps in and individual sovereignty is resigned to the governments who can dictate what is wrong and what is right from a moral standpoint.
The problem with abortion is that there are more than just two sides of the argument. Abortion is argued and taken from the political stance of either "pro life" or "pro choice." Both of these phrases are too ambiguous and do not provide any substantial arguments. Both life and choice can be harmful or helpful, depending on these concepts are modeled and with what intent they are emplaced.
Since the entire abortion argument is based upon a fallacy of logic, the government must step in due to the serious nature of healthcare and...
There is doubt to as if abortion is even a health care issue, compounding the problems of misunderstandings and creating an even greater reliance on governments to develop useful policies that reflect the high ethical standards that are presented in the medical profession. Yoest (2009) supported this when she argued that "health care "reform" proponents are incapable of summoning the votes for an abortion exclusion. They simply cannot vote against the powerful abortion lobby. But without an explicit exclusion of abortion funding, the courts will define abortion as "mandatory" health care and impose federal funding in any kind of federal system, whether a "public" system or a subsidized "private" system."
Steps In Policy Development
There are many sources of policy development, as they are based on the numerous an chaotic problems that happen to people over the course of time. The American Medical Association (AMA) described the healthcare policy development model they supported. The guidance suggested "Policy can be defined as statements that have the purpose of guiding decision-making and actions. The AMA develops policy positions on how the health care system should be organized and how it should function. When people refer to "AMA policy," they are usually referring to the set of normative statements the Association has developed on health care issues and the health care system. They may also be referring to the set of statements the AMA has developed about its internal organizational structure and decision-making process (governance system) as well as medical science and technology."
The AMA represents only one faction of the healthcare, but it is a very powerful one. Other organizations and individuals can lobby for their problems through normal democratic means, however this is often met with hard resistance. Gaining support for a cause of movement can certainly help in starting the process of awareness and eventually distinguish the problem as something the collective must take action upon. This cycle of winning support to create policy is often aided by money and funds, once again creating a conflict of interests with the health care professionals and their intent to make profits over healing those who are sick.
In some instances this conflict of interest causes further problems and creates a self defeating cycle of one step forward then two steps backwards. Lo (2009) explained "Researchers and policy makers have devoted considerable attention to the day-to-day incentives for inappropriate clinical practice related to physician payment arrangements. Each major method of paying physicians has the potential to put physicians' primary interest in promoting the best interests of their patients at odds with their secondary financial interests. One analysis of information from national surveys and long-term, in-depth studies of 12 local markets concluded that physicians' business practices contribute to higher costs and that "policymakers may need to revisit regulation of physicians' conflicts of interest and consider how their financial incentives could be realigned"
Someone who is a stakeholder is a person that has a great interest in seeing a certain action or goal become realized. Stakeholders have varying reasons for becoming involved in a particular issue or problem. For some, perhaps a loved one suffered unnecessarily from a certain medical condition and this pain brought about the necessary energy to become involved in solving the problem for others so they do not have to suffer in the same way. Others may become involved in a policy issue simply for financial reasons. The financial impact of both the medical world and the political world is very widespread and deep.
Regardless of the reasons why an individual would become involved in the policy making process and become a stakeholder it appears to be a very personal decision. Personal or subjective reasoning heavily dominates the actions that are involved in the changes of health care policy. The more personal the issue is, the more powerful the voice will be heard. The human element that is involved in the changes of the health care policy drives the transformation and emotions necessary to involve such wide scale changes.
Those people who can tug at the heartstrings of others and become influential have a decided advantage in succeeding in the changing of health care policy. The ongoing and continual debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) puts everyone in the United States as a stakeholder for changes in health care policy. This blanket policy created an environment where everyone who consents to this policy must take action in order to secure their health care. This involvement places the stakeholder influence at all time high for the medical profession and is creating a situation where health care is nothing more than a bureaucratic arm of the state and federal governments that promote their own brand of care through collective measures that may or may not be appropriate for those who are facing health care issues. Regardless, each stakeholder can have a voice or no voice simply by taking a new perspective on healthcare policy development and the important aspects this confluence of ideas presents to those involved.
American Medical Association (nd). Developing AMA Policies. Viewed 21 Feb 2015. Retrieved from http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/house- delegates/developing-ama-policies.page?
Field, M.J., & Lo, B. (Eds.). (2009). Conflict of interest in medical research, education, and practice. National Academies Press.
Hyman, M. (2014). Money, Politics, and Health Care: A Disease-Creation Economy -- Part I.
Lo, B. (2010). Serving two masters -- conflicts of interest in academic medicine. New England Journal…
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