The role of government in healthcare

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The role of government in healthcare

Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Discussion. 3

US Congress. 3

State governments. 4

US Supreme Court 5

President 5

Lobbyists/special interest groups. 6

Summary. 7

References. 8


The vitality and prosperity in a society is basically indicated by a number of elements including the healthcare systems. A liberal democracy gives the government the authority to input in the healthcare policy. Since the leaders in the government are elected by the public to represent their interests, the public determines whether the decision taken by the government is appropriate or not. The standard role of the government in healthcare policy is hence not specific and different groups differ concerning the ‘correct’ role that the government should play in healthcare policy. Basic roles that the government has include deciding on the supply of universal healthcare coverage to the citizens, the extent to which it will finance healthcare and the determination of whether or not healthcare is a human right. The role of the government is divided into one played by the president, the congress, the Supreme Court as well as the state governments. In addition, lobbyists and special interests groups input in the healthcare policy in a number of ways.


US Congress

The major roles played by the congress include; National Institutes of Health, Medicaid, Medicare (Burke, 2011). The authority is distributed to several committees such as senate health, education, labor and pension committee who have several responsibilities towards healthy care policy. This committee  sees to it that there is development and research on biomedical components, it also holds responsibilities of persons with disabilities, the welfare, health and safety of people working in mines, the activities carried out by the Red cross in America  and it also responsible for the general health of the public (The Library of Congress, 2010). The other committee is the house committee on energy and commerce holding several responsibilities which include; construction of hospitals, research on mental health, health protection as well as biomedical programs (Burke, 2011). The senate and house committees on appropriation concentrate on emergency funding through the mid-year bills, fund programs, federal agencies, and departments (Burke, 2011). The committee prepares allocation for funding within jurisdiction. In addition, it ensures the spending levels go according to the budget. Along with the state’s role in public health, there are police powers that can be defined as the inherent authority that the state has to enact legislations as well as promulgate them aiming to protect, promote and also preserve the people’s health, morals, safety and their welfare in general.

State governments

The populations’ health is protected and promoted by the state governments. The states are provided with reserved powers that allow them to exercise the power inherent in the government that are not granted to the federal government and are prohibited by the constitution (Weil, 2006). The role that is assigned to the state government makes the relationship between the states dealing with social programs and the federal government difficult in achieving the set policy objectives (Weil, 2006). For more than eighty years there has been evolution of roles due to the expansive role of the federal. Federalism which outlays this connection can be traced to the Latin word used to describe covenant, the health agencies owned by the state and the local health departments are set up according to the structure of the federal categories grant that are projected towards aid programs of  public health. The departments together with agencies along the federal level that fund the health programs of the public are recognized in planning of programs at the local and state level (Weil, 2006).

US Supreme Court

The judicial branch affects the federal public policy and the functions of the public health by changing the basis of initiatives of public health in the decisions that federal courts (including the U.S. Supreme Court) render (The Supreme Court of the United States, 2012). The Congress enacts laws establishing public health federal policies and set aside the funds that implement those laws. The judicial branch plays a big role in the United States by demonstrating policies according to the federal laws and the constitution. The supreme Court concludes on key importance in two fields (Reproductive and civil rights) related to the health of the public. According to the executive branch, the directions of the health policy are released from the president’s office especially the management office and budget, the environmental counc.............

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