Healthcare Policy as the Most Challenging US Policy

One of the areas within the U.S public policy administration sphere which is affected and defective; is that of healthcare administration and healthcare policy administration. As was noted in the New York Times publication some times back; the real problem with the U.S health care system; and which is leading to the current crisis and chain of problems is the high extent of fragmentation within the system. However as a move to be able to identify the key issues in the U.S healthcare problem and possibly propose remedies for the situation; it is important to understand why, where, and how the U.S healthcare system is defective or broken (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

The reason the current U.S crisis can be considered one of the worst challenges to the U.S public administration system is that; the U.S healthcare system is the fact that the U.S spends more of its income on the health sector than any other nation around the world. From statistics taken in the year 1997; it was evident that USD 1.1 Trillion was spent on the health sector alone. On a comparative basis, the U.S healthcare sector spends up to 13.5% of its GDP on health; which remains the highest in the world followed by the figures for nations like Switzerland, Germany, and France; who spent up to 10% of their GDP on this sector.

However as opposed to the massive spending on the health sector; it is clear from statistics that the citizens of this noble nation are not equally addressed; in terms of the quality and access to healthcare and health care facilities. From the healthcare statistics taken in the year 1997; it was noted that 16.1% of America’s population lacked healthcare insurance; a figure initially standing at 15.6 % in the preceding year and 12.9% in the year 1987 respectively.

From the above analysis; it is clear that the status of healthcare administration in the U.S and healthcare policy employment is deteriorating day after day; a case that needs to be addressed fast if this noble nation is to foster health and prosperity. As a move to gain a clearer picture of the current healthcare problem; it is important to give due consideration to the different areas of focus and centers; forming areas of indicators for health administration.

Some of the areas to be given due consideration, in this case, include the areas of healthcare insurance, national health involvement, health-focused research and studies; and the major indicators of healthcare administration like Medicare and Medicaid (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

The challenges facing the U.S nation and its population with regards to its healthcare crisis have been documented in publications like the New York Times, a few months ago. Some of these challenges include that there is ineffective management of the emergency service arm of healthcare administration; inefficient usage of the available medical equipment and ineffective management and scheduling of the available healthcare staff.

Another issue that forms a challenge along the administration of healthcare services in the U.S includes; the changing Medicare reimbursement regulations, complex staffing considerations, and the constantly increasing cost management demands (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

Other problems within the U.S healthcare system which are posing a threat to the system of administration and policymaking; is that there is a chronic shortage of personnel like nurses; which creates for the maximum usage of the available staff. As a result of the effort of trying to make the best use of the available personnel; another problem comes up from that the time available for these workers to focus on patient care is very limited; hence the welfare of patients seeking healthcare services is put at jeopardy (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

Another challenge though being one that has developed over time; one which is greatly affecting the healthcare administration levels employed in the U.S; is the baby boom problem of the years between 1946 and 1964. As a result of this population boom who are currently around the age of sixty; the level of need for healthcare needs has greatly risen; creating the need for more facilities And staff to address the health needs of these 78 Million persons born in that time.

Other problems facing the administration of healthcare and the levels of access to these services among the citizens; is the ever-present talk and debate of healthcare reforms; a move targeted towards addressing the access to health insurance and the favorability of the system. The other issue is the debate on the maximum usage of equipment while minimizing the levels of wastage; which has also resulted in the case that the recipients of these services may receive less attention and quality of healthcare. The other problem is that the result of defensive medication has further resulted in a strain on the healthcare service provision centers and hospitals (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

The case that further makes the case of healthcare administration in the U.S a big challenge is that these crucial services are provided, owned, and operated mainly by the private sector. Another problem is that health insurance is mainly provided for by privately owned firms; except for the cases of Medicare and Medicaid among other limited programs.

From statistics, it has been documented that due to the over-control of this sector by the private sector; up to 15.3% of the population is fully uninsured; up to 35% of the population underinsured, or not capable of meeting their healthcare needs. Further from data obtained from the medical care provision facilities; it is evident that up to 18, 000 deaths take place every year as a result of the lack of medical insurance to meet the financial obligations for medical administration (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

Some of the political difficulties facing the U.S healthcare administration system include the fact that; issues like the prices of prescription drugs form a major issue within America’s politics. Some of the issues under the discussion, in this case, are that the U.S as a purchaser pursues to alter the prices of drugs except for cases like those covered under the Medicare bill passed in 2005; through the support of the republicans. The other political issue surrounding the administration of healthcare in the U.S is the moves and pursuit for reforms; where the republicans are in support of the fact that the U.S system is effective while these are not the views among the Democrats (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

Some of the parties taking a major interest in the administration of healthcare include the ‘American Medical association’; ‘the American nurses association’; Providers of health insurance, the AARP, and the department of commerce. The interest these groups have in the U.S healthcare provision is the fact that all these parties in one way or the other; are affected by the returns or investments in this sector. The current U.S healthcare policy is based on that every citizen has a right to healthcare services, and the view that centering the provision on government provision will hamper innovation and the service status.

However, it is evident that due to the in-affordability and in-accessible nature of health insurance; the larger part of the population has no access to healthcare. Based on the discussion; it should be noted that for every citizen to have equal access to healthcare services; there should be the adoption of the system of universal healthcare provision, as it will ensure access to healthcare for all. Further, the area of health insurance should be monitored by the public sector; as this would lower the demands and difficulties associated with access to healthcare (Barbour & Gerald, 2009).

Conclusion

Having discussed the extent to which the current crisis in the health sector is defective; even though the American nation spends the most finances on its citizen’s access to healthcare. As a solution to the current problem; the U.S healthcare system should not be centered on the private sector; but part of it should be accessible to all, through government provision.

Reference

Barbour, C. and Gerald, W. (2009). Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics, 3rd ed. Washington DC: CQ Press.