Provisions of Constitution That Allow for Healthcare Policy Regulation
The issue of the federal government being able to create, regulate, and mandate health care policies have been discussed in detail over the last decade. The main problem comes from the lack of any provisions of healthcare by the Constitution. However, the first article of the Constitution gives all the legislative power to the Senate and the House of Representatives. Currently, the federal government can perform various manipulations with the healthcare policy according to decisions of the Senate (Tushnet 15). This often creates issues as the definition of constitutional and non-constitutional policies may differ between the representatives of different parties. The largest issue that was encountered in the past decade concerned the Affordable Care Act as it was considered both constitutional and non-constitutional by various members of the Senate, which caused a variety of changes to be implemented into the finished policy. The controversial nature of the policy also caused a future attempt to repeal it by the following president of the United States. The issue of healthcare policy is likely to remain controversial as long as the Constitution does not feature it as one of its provisions in the form of the amendment (Lanford and Quadagno 619).
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Example From Recent News
An article by Steven Porter from February 12 can be used to showcase a recent example of the federal government affecting health care policy. The story revolves around the decision of the federal government to repeal an Alaskan law related to health care competition in the region. The article describes that the certificate-of-need laws that the federal government wants to repeal were originally enacted due to the implementation of the previous change to healthcare legislation. The original laws were supposed to reduce healthcare spending and increase access to care. However, the Federal Trade Commission now states that these goals were not achieved.
Moreover, its representatives claim that these laws may harm the policy they were supposed to support. The state of Alaska is unique and has needs that other states do not. It is the largest state in the country, but its population is very low due to the harsh climate and complex geography. People who oppose the repeal of these laws state that the presented research does not apply to the realities of the Alaskan market. In response to this point of view, the Federal Trade Commission points out that there are other states, with a large portion of their population living in the rural areas, that were examined during the research on this issue, and they benefited from similar laws being repealed. The article concludes with a message that a vote on the bill has not yet occurred (Porter).
The issue of healthcare policy is one of the major topics in political discourse. No major political document has a provision that would guarantee healthcare to those who cannot afford it. However, with the advancements in treatment and medicine, as well as its availability, it becomes irresponsible to refuse to provide health care without putting people in debt. The widening gap between economic classes guarantees that a significant portion of the population would be unable to receive the majority of treatments they require, and the practice of price inflation on drugs often puts profits over people’s wellbeing. While profits are required for a large company to survive in a capitalistic society, a more human-focused policy should be created.
Lanford, Daniel, and Jill Quadagno. “Implementing ObamaCare: The Politics of Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.” Sociological Perspectives, vol. 59, no. 3, 2016, pp. 619–639.
Porter, Steven. “Feds Urge Repeal of Alaska Law on Healthcare Competition.” Health Leaders Media, 2018, Web.
Tushnet, Mark. The Constitution of the United States of America: A Contextual Analysis. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.