For this assignment, you will prepare a written document that analyzes a health policy. Please follow the instructions below and prepare your document. Be sure to save in .doc or .docx format, and to follow APA guidelines.
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In Module 6 we learned about the 5 steps process for policy analysis. Using the policy you selected in Module 3 identify an issue of concern with a health policy.
- Using the five-step method discussed in the course, work through the steps to formulate a recommendation for policy change.
Expert Solution Preview
In the field of medical education, it is crucial to ensure that college students are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in their future careers as healthcare professionals. As a medical professor, my role involves creating college assignments and designing lectures that effectively aid students in understanding and analyzing complex healthcare policies. Additionally, I am responsible for evaluating student performance through examinations and assignments and providing constructive feedback to enhance their learning experience. One such assignment requires students to analyze a health policy and propose recommendations for policy change. This document aims to provide a sample answer to this assignment, keeping in mind the five-step process for policy analysis.
The selected health policy for analysis is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced in the United States in 2010. While the ACA aimed to improve access to healthcare and reduce overall healthcare costs, it has faced challenges and criticisms since its implementation. One issue of concern with the ACA is its individual mandate, which requires individuals to have health insurance coverage or face penalties. This policy has been controversial, leading to debates regarding personal freedoms and the role of the government in healthcare.
To formulate a recommendation for policy change regarding the individual mandate, the five-step process for policy analysis can be applied:
Step 1: Define the problem – The problem identified is the contentious requirement of the individual mandate. It creates tension between individual liberties and the government’s responsibility to ensure universal healthcare coverage.
Step 2: Identify relevant criteria for evaluating policy options – To assess the policy options, the criteria of affordability, effectiveness, and individual autonomy should be considered. The policy’s cost to individuals, its impact on improving access to care, and the extent to which it respects individual autonomy are essential factors.
Step 3: Develop policy alternatives – Several alternatives to the individual mandate can be considered. One option is to replace the mandate with subsidies or tax credits to incentivize individuals to obtain health insurance voluntarily. Another approach could involve expanding Medicaid eligibility to ensure coverage for more low-income individuals. Additionally, fostering competition among insurance providers and implementing stricter regulations to control premium costs can be explored.
Step 4: Evaluate alternatives – Each alternative should be evaluated based on the identified criteria. Assessing the affordability of alternatives involves analyzing the potential financial burden on individuals and the government. Effectiveness should be evaluated by considering the impact on reducing the number of uninsured individuals and increasing access to healthcare services. Lastly, the alternatives should be examined for their respect for individual autonomy and the extent to which they allow individuals to make their own healthcare decisions.
Step 5: Make a recommendation – Based on the evaluation of policy alternatives, it is recommended to replace the individual mandate with targeted subsidies or tax credits. By providing financial assistance to individuals, this alternative aims to incentivize the purchase of health insurance without imposing a mandatory requirement. This approach addresses concerns regarding individual autonomy while still ensuring improved access to healthcare.
In conclusion, the analysis of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate using the five-step policy analysis process has led to a recommendation for change. By replacing the mandate with targeted subsidies or tax credits, the policy can strike a balance between preserving personal freedoms and ensuring equitable access to healthcare. This recommendation emphasizes the importance of affordability, effectiveness, and individual autonomy when formulating changes to health policies.