The United States of America currently faces several problems that make it impossible for the government to provide quality services to the citizens. Some of the major problems include “the lack of appropriate incentives to hold cost on food stamps, Medicare, Obama care, and entitlement programs (Williams, 2010)”. The complexity of these problems calls for immediate solutions in order to continue addressing the needs of the Americans. This discussion explores the nature of these problems and offers solutions for them.
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The Medicare structure has resulted in conflicting incentives especially when it comes to the issue of cost. Currently, there is lack of appropriate incentives to hold costs on “sharing rules” (Williams, 2010). As well, there are misaligned incentives especially in “cost shifting for nursing homes and health care facilities (Williams, 2010)”.
The issue of cost allocation makes it impossible to provide adequate to patients suffering from acute and chronic diseases. Such problems have made the Medicare program ineffective. That being the case, various policy reforms can be useful towards addressing the problem (Williams, 2010). Such initiatives include pay-for-performance, capitation, and shifting Medicare costs to the government. The strategy will definitely help address most of the problems mentioned above.
The second problem arises for America’s food stamps. Today the country spends a lot of money on food stamps than ever before. In 2010, President Obama projected to spend $10 trillion on the program. This is definitely a major problem because the country cannot afford such costs. It is agreeable that the program helps the poor and most vulnerable members of the society. The best solution is to address the problem of employment and identify the most vulnerable individuals.
This will make it easier to allocate costs efficiently. As well, abuse and fraud have been associated with the food stamps program. There is need for efforts to address these wrongdoings and keep track of the gathered information. Alternatively, Congress can consider a move to end the program and allow each state to design its own food policy program. “This will definitely address the lack of incentives to hold cost on food stamps (Williams, 2010)”.
In America, entitlement programs are managed by the government in order to provide financial benefits to various individuals who contribute by paying into the programs (Williams, 2010). In the recent past, expenditures related to entitlement programs have increased fast. Currently, experts project that the costs will grow in the coming years. This means that the actual collections for entitlement programs present a deficit (Williams, 2010).
This explains why it has been impossible to hold cost on such entitlement programs. The best incentive to hold cost on entitlement is to use new policies regarding government spending and taxation. The government can increase taxes and eliminate tax exemptions. As well, the government can increase the age for eligibility. Such measures will help address the problem completely.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also called “Obama care”, helped increase affordability and quality of insurance (Williams, 2010). The program has expanded both private and public health insurance coverage in the country. However, the original cost for the program was supposed to be below $1 trillion. The current economic situation and widening national debt does not allow the country to spend so much money on the program (Williams, 2010).
This explains why there is lack of incentives to hold cost on “Obama care”. The best way to address the current crisis is to apply new regulations and legislations. This will ensure the citizen does not bear the costs. As well, the federal government can cut most of its discretionary and mandatory spending. The approach will offer new incentives to hold cost on “Obama care” and other entitlement programs in the country.
Williams, N. (2010). Government Spending, Taxes, Entitlements, Healthcare, Pensions, Immigration, Tort Reform, Crime. New York: Author-House Press.