Factors Influencing Health Policy

One of the major factors influencing health care policy is the quality of care. Central to this debate is the question as to whether publicly funded solution to healthcare can bring better results than free market model for healthcare. Critics of the free market model have often argued that the system offers lower quality of health care than the publicly funded model (Buseh, 2008). Political drivers of this debate have variously pointed out the fact the promotion of publicly funded systems will have the long-term effects of reducing mortality rates while lowering the overall costs of healthcare provision in the country.

The scenario, according to proponents, would lower the burden of medication with the end result of lessening the burden on the GDP and per capita. Another important dimension that has been explored in the debates about health care is the matter of evaluation (Buseh, 2008). Those who seek to debate on the merits of free market models for healthcare argue that their quality systems have been poorly evaluated to portray a negative picture in comparison with the publicly funded models.

The cost and efficiency of healthcare plans have engaged debate of public healthcare with concerns that the rising cost of living is exerting significant pressure on the costs of medication. The debates have also drawn a link between the cost of healthcare and medical treatment. The common hypotheses have been that higher costs of health care are inversely proportional to the efficiency of service delivery (Levine, 2009). The electorate has variously been influenced by debates and policies that seek to provide a balance between costs and efficiency of service delivery. One of the costly factors in the US healthcare system has been the tendency by the uninsured to forgo medical care precisely because of the matter of costs (Levine, 2009).

The high costs of medical care have also been burdensome for American investors. Technological factors have also shaped the debate on costs. The United States has continued to invest is superior technology in terms of healthcare devices. The operational costs of these devices have had the effect of driving up the cost of healthcare. Politicians have sought to devise policies that would influence public opinions through proposing some delicate balance between the need to develop the medical infrastructure and affordability of the resultant technology.

Another important factor that drives the policy debate is the incentive for health care providers. Incentives are basically networked on other factors including insurance, costs, regulation, and technological factors. A shift in the operational dynamism in any of these related factors will always affect the levels of incentives for the health care providers. In the United States, the ration of doctors to civilians is still below the world recommended levels (Levine, 2009). This imbalance has the double effect of lessening the quality of healthcare for the population and increasing the costs because of the resultant strain.

High costs of medication have often meant that more Americans prefer curative care than preventive care. Studies have shown that a predominant curative healthcare system is significantly more expensive than a preventive system. Past and recent political reforms ranging from the administrations of Clinton, Bush and Obama have included various designs that are aimed towards the safeguarding the interests of medical practitioners. The opinion of the electorate is usually determined by the kind of balance that is struck between the incentive for doctors and the overall public interests.

Tort reforms remain one of the integral aspects in the reform of health care policies. The rising incidences of medical litigations have affected the cost and quality of medical care in the United States. One of the negative influences that resulted out of this situation is defensive medicine. Doctors have tended to operate above the required threshold for the simple reason that they seek to avoid the scepter of professional negligence that might result from recommending lesser levels of treatment (Lachman, 2009).

Defensive medicine has been cited as one of the major drivers of costs in the United States. This is because doctors would choose the most expensive prescription or therapy as a safeguard strategy. For instance, the medics would tend to recommend caesarian delivery in cases where normal delivery would have sufficed. The overall effect is the straining of the country’s resources by creating a disproportionate impact on the country’s GDP and per capita.

The Obama health care reforms have sought to put more Americans under the umbrella of insurance. This has been one of the most important objectives of reforming the health care sector in the United States. Proponents have argued that this system would shield Americans from higher costs of medication during moments of inflationary pressures. The insurance policies in the US have often tended to favor high income earners than the unemployed (Lachman, 2009). Besides employers have always reserved the rights to limit or determine the kind and duration of insurance for their employees.

On the other hand, insurance firms have often determined the kind of medical care for their clients by crafting their policies with certain deliberate specifications. In some cases, care givers have tended to follow the kind of policy of the patient in providing medical care (Lachman, 2009). In the very end, the system has created a disequilibrium in which large sectors of the society remain outside the range of quality and affordable healthcare services. The reforms in the insurance sector are expected to bring about regulatory mechanisms to shield to bring a majority of Americans under medical insurance. The premiums are also designed to work on a sliding scale so that the high income earners incur significantly higher costs than the low income earners. These reforms have brought about sharp divisions with a majority of the low earners and the unemployed backing the system while the wealthier members of the society remain opposed to it.

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