Sample Essay on Health Care Policy
Political Action Committee The debate about political action committees—the PACs that raise and spend vast sums on behalf of interest groups in American elections—has been raging in Washington and across the country. The rhetoric on both sides has been white hot, and the charges and countercharges have filled the airwaves and enlivened campaigns from coast to coast in recent years.
health care policyThe focus on PACs is hardly surprising, given the “Golden Rule of Politics”: “He who has the gold, rules.” PACs have become the new goldmine of American politics, and they are eagerly solicited by contribution hungry candidates and parties. But money rarely comes without strings attached; PAC opponents hasten to point out. In fact, they claim, PAC gifts are directly buying votes in the Congress of the United States. A “Special Interest State” is being created, they say, in which interest groups with sufficient organization and financing secure favored pieces of legislation in exchange for contributions to influential congressmen at campaign time. Moreover, they insist, PACs, especially the ones formed by corporations and trade associations, abuse the democratic system by coordinating their gifts to maximize their influence, rivaling the parties for the loyalty of elected officials, often soliciting contributions by coercing employees, organizing internally in an undemocratic and unaccountable fashion, encouraging the growth of negative, single-issue politics, and becoming increasingly dominant in elections at all levels.
The Future of Health Care Reform If, as is likely, health care reform requires the enactment of new taxes but does not meet the needs and expectations of the American public, the power of public opposition to reform should not be underestimated.
The Right to Health Care and Health Care Reform Reform There is broad agreement that our current health care system is simultaneously expensive, inequitable, and wasteful, and that escalating health care costs and the erosion of private insurance coverage are seriously undermining the health and economic security of all Americans.
Government programs for particular categories of persons. The central dilemma of health care reform is how to restructure our nation’s health care system to extend and ensure an entitlement for all our citizens to the most comprehensive health care that our society can afford. While there are compelling reasons to do so—irrespective of the establishment of a human right to health care—there is also formidable opposition to doing so.
This paper will review existing, limited rights to health care under public law and programs, and public and private health insurance. This overview of the limitations of existing rights will provide a background for understanding the financing and other system reforms that are needed to assure universal access to comprehensive health care. It will then discuss the necessary features of a health care system that will assure such access. Finally, it will discuss the economic and political factors that impede reform, and the need to go beyond the concept of an individual right to health care to a more communitarian ethic in order to overcome the opposition to reform.
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