The bill-making is a multistage process that starts with an idea. While each subsequent step in the process rests upon the successful implementation of previous steps, it can be argued that the submission of a bill to Congress is the most important phase. The chief function of the body is to make laws; therefore, this stage determines whether a bill merits consideration and can be approved in the future (“How our laws,” n.d.).
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Public testimony allows all involved parties to effectively communicate pertinent information to legislative committees, thereby influencing the development of health policies. By delivering testimonies at hearings, it is possible to provide legislators with different positions on an issue of interest. This is extremely important because the presentation of oral statements during committee hearings can influence the language of a bill.
A study conducted by Moreland-Russell et al. (2015) shows that this approach to law-making is often misused by interest and advocacy groups whose methods of information delivery can pressure lawmakers to accept their legislative proposals. This influence should not be overlooked because not all policy actions are beneficial for the general public. For example, tobacco and sugar companies have been influencing legislators for many decades (Surowiecki, 2016).
When analyzing a policy, it is of utter importance to understand its implications for both the intended area of influence and the society at large. By utilizing a rigorous analytical framework, it is possible to detect and ameliorate a wide-range of weaknesses in a proposed policy, thereby eliminating their negative effects. For example, to analyze the effects of healthcare law, it is necessary to consider its effectiveness in targeting the intended healthcare issue. Furthermore, it is also necessary to predict its unintended effects. To this end, one must look at the consequences of a policy in terms of social equity, cost, and acceptability.
How our laws are made. (n.d.). Web.
Moreland-Russell, S., Barbbero, C., Andersen, S., Geary, N., Dodson, E. A., & Brownson, R. C. (2015). “Hearing from all sides.” How legislative testimony influences state level policy-makers in the United States. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 4(2), 91-98.
Surowiecki, J. (2016). A big tobacco moment for the sugar industry. The New Yorker. Web.