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As an advocate for the Alzheimer's Association, I have had the privilege to meet with Maryland representatives to encourage them to pass a bill to ensure research continued for Alzheimer's. This was a great experience and I learned a great deal about the influence we have on the political agenda!
As I am leading this module, I pose a few questions: Have you done anything to promote or influence policy decisions? Who are your own county, district, or state representatives? Do you think participating in groups such as the Maryland Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, etc., is important to nursing and the policy making process for health care? Do you have plans to begin participating in these groups and what would you hope to change? ( Am a psychiatric RN, Maryland state, PG county)
I need a response to the discussion post from a classmate related to the discussion post you did for me. Below is the post I want you to respond to:
During this week’s lecture there was a great deal of discussion about how health policy is developed. Much of health policy is developed by the legislative branches of government at the federal level. However, much of the specific detail regarding regulatory policy is left up to the states (Mech, 2014). Much of this is due to the 10th amendment to the constitution, which leaves a great deal of governance and regulation up to the State.
Healthcare policy reform can be broken down into “allocative policies” and “regulatory behavioral policies.” Both serve different functions, however both are critical in the development of health policy on both a federal and state level. The key difference is that allocative policies typically allocate money or services for a particular group of individuals, either in the form of research funding or for a particular service. Good examples of this are Medicare, Medicaid and research funding. These are specific services that have been allocated money for a particular subset of individuals (Mech, 2014). On the flip side, there are “regulatory policies” these policies typically regulate specific actions, these could be specific behaviors, e.g.: tobacco regulation in the form of a sin tax; or quality control regulations enforced by the Joint Commission and the Food and Drug Administration who accredit health care facilities and approve pharmaceuticals and medical equipment respectively (Mech, 2014).
Policy development and legislation cannot occur unless all of the stakeholders are considered. These stakeholders include everyone involved in the healthcare system including: “hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, home health, health insurers, [the] pharmaceutical industry, durable medical equipment company, nurses, patients, the elderly, the mentally ill,” etc. (Mech, 2014). Moreover, new policies, regulations, and laws must be financed. One popular method amongst the fiscally conservative, as noted above, is the “sin tax” which taxes “sinful” habits such as smoking and consumption of sugary drinks (Mech, 2014). Perhaps the most popular way is a “budget neutral” option, the drawback to this method is that it will frequently divert funds from one initiative and direct it to another, and this is often bad politics.
Although all of these methods of funding are important and may have different pros and cons, perhaps the most important aspect of healthcare reform is unfortunately politics (Hacker, 2008). The politics of healthcare reform must consider the different sides of the debate and ensure open and transparent discussion. More importantly, and perhaps not generally viewed as favorable, includes involving special interest groups in the discussion, from different healthcare unions to pharmaceutical lobbies. Hacker (2008) argues that one of the reasons that the Clinton healthcare policy failed was the inadequate politicking and lack of inclusion of all of the stakeholders from the beginning. Thus, in order to have successful healthcare reform, not only must the financing and stakeholders be taken into account, but the politics of the issue must always be considered.
Hacker, J. S. (2008). Putting politics first: Health system reform can be successful this time if
policy makers learn the lessons from the past. Health Affairs, 27(3), 718-723. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.27.3.718
Mech, A. (2014, August 15). The policy process. Lecture. Retrieved September 7, 2016, from
As an advocate for the Alzheimer's Association, I have had the privilege to meet with Maryland representatives to encourage them to pass a bill to ensure research continued for Alzheimer's.