This paper seeks to describe public policy in relation to the first source provided in which it explains the policy arena, the policy endpoints and the policy options, major political actors involved in the debate, how the political actors choose to influence political process and whether there is an attempt for the national strategy.
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Public policy is a program of action already in effect or planned for implementation whose aim is to improve the situation of the public. Some of the components of public policy include; the methods for its implementation and specification of resources requirements, its relevance and guidelines for the said action and the rules and regulations prescribed to it.
The arena of the health policy selected for this assignment is focused towards defining various strategies for strengthening governance, improving the allocation of resources, decentralization of the health services, shifting the resources from just the curative healthcare to preventive healthcare services, provision of the autonomy to provincial and national hospitals, enhancing collaboration with the stakeholders and implementing social and health insurance programs.
The policy endpoints and policy options being discussed is the health care overhaul law and the legislative achievement of President Obama’s signature. The policy options here include; upholding the law by the justices, duck a definitive decision premature entirely and strike down its most controversial provisions. In the matter, the Supreme Court and President Obama are likely to give rise to the constitutional and political blockbuster (Liptak 1).
The health policy here is however faced with various challenges that need be discussed by the political bigwigs. Some of the challenges include; lack of accountability, poor policy implementation, the pressure from the United Nations, insufficient funds, lack of enough qualified staff and failure to embrace the health insurance by some groups.
The policy endpoints are associated with certain factors that affect its formulation and implementation. Factors such as situational factors, structural factors, political culture, democratic factors and environmental factors hinder the course of policy action.
The major political actors involved in the public debate of the health policy include the government, the media and the interest groups. Service providers, professional bodies and advocacy groups may be involved, but they majorly contribute in the policy planning process.
These political actors ensure that the policy is addressed in the best way possible. They do this by influencing the political process of the policy. These political actors choose to influence the policy process through lobby groups, media campaigns, propaganda mechanisms, and agents of socialization, agents of legitimacy and by playing key roles in the agenda setting (Warren, 100).
The strategy does not play out inside the Beltway, but there is an attempt to come up with a national strategy that will ensure the process of health policy planning is done effectively.
Some of the components of the national strategy suggested include; the visioning exercises, creation of the mission and goals, objective establishments, creating a monitoring plan, establishing strategic directions and developing a framework that will establish and monitor success. According to the national strategy to be established, a health policy planning should be done in the following steps;
- Perform an environmental scanning
- Set goals and directions
- Identify possible problems and challenges
- Identify range of possible solutions to the problems and challenges
- Determine the best possible solution from the suggested ones to implement
- Implement the chosen solution
- Evaluate the results of the implemented solution
A plausible scenario for public policy change from the status quo would be the shift from the initial health policy framework to the current health policy.
Initially, the health policy framework would ensure the equitable allocation of government resources in order to reduce disparities in the health status, increase cost effectiveness and cost efficiency of the allocation of the resources and use, the management of the growth of the population, enhancing the regulatory role of the government, creating and enabling the environment for the increased private sector and community involvement in the provision of the health services and increasing and diversifying the per capita finance flow in the health sector. This has however changed with the current health policy framework (Warren 102).
Currently, the health policy framework is strengthening the central public policy role of the state in health matters and concerns. Apart from that, the health policy framework does other things like adopting the explicit strategy in order to reduce the burden of disease among the population, shifting part of the financial burden to the insurance, generating increased levels of financial resources and strengthening local authorities, private and mission sectors that provide health services.
In summary, this paper has described the public policy in relation to source one that was provided where it explained the policy endpoints, the policy arena and the policy options, major political actors involved in the debate, how the political actors choose to influence political process and whether there is an attempt for the national strategy.
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The major political actors involved in the public debate of the health policy described in the paper include the government, the media and the interest groups. Service providers, professional bodies and advocacy groups may be involved, but they majorly contribute in the policy planning process.
Liptak, Adam. Justices to Hear Health Care Case as Race Heats Up. Washington: New York Times Company, 2011
Warren, James. Liberal or Conservative: the problem is ignorance. New York: Lexis, 2011