As a leading industrialized nation, the United States of America’s healthcare system is remarkably convoluted, especially when compared to healthcare systems in other economically advanced nations. The Nature of health care reform in the United States is also wanting. Such complexities exist by virtue of the structured methods to which medical services are financed and distributed to citizens. (1) Additionally noted, there are major components involved known as stakeholders, and each of these constituents has a separate powerful and influential role within the healthcare system.

intricacies of health care reform

intricacies of health care reform

Land of the Free

While every nation’s healthcare systems vary, authors Tulchinsky & Varikova explain that the United States is one of the only industrialized nations in the world that does not offer universal healthcare. (2) Meaning, government-issued funding is not the sole — or even primary — source for financing medical services for citizens. The authors proceed to note that the U.S. system is composed of self-funded, public, and private health insurance in order to pay for services. Furthermore, due to the increased costs associated with health insurance as well as medical treatment, a large percentage of uninsured or underinsured individuals cannot afford, or do not even have access to medical care. This can be problematic, as patients are the necessary means as stakeholders for the healthcare system to operate.

Home of the Stakeholders

Stakeholders are groups or organizations that have ventures or investments within the healthcare industry, and many of them compete for power and control of resources in order to influence the system, and profit from it. (3) This could be an indication as to why medical services continue to be so expensive. According to author Nancy J. Niles, there are several major stakeholders of the US healthcare system including: consumers, employers, hospitals, healthcare providers, nursing/residential and home health centers, the U.S. government, insurance companies, laboratories, research organizations, and professional associations. (1) It is important to understand the background of each one and be able to identify how they relate with one another.

Niles proceeds to identify the “consumer” as the most important stakeholder in the healthcare system, as consumers are individuals that require routine, acute, or chronic medical care throughout their lives. (1) Consumers acquire services from hospitals, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and other medical related facilities across the nation. The companies that operate these facilities are also a major stakeholder known as the “employer”. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation lists employers as the single-largest purchaser of healthcare within the United States. (4) Employers are companies and businesses — both public and private — such as retailers, manufacturers, bankers, etc. Since the U.S. operates a relatively expensive private-payor system, many employers are responsible for purchasing large-scale insurance policies in order to provide as a benefit to their employees, aka the “consumer”. Some of the most lucrative employers operate hospitals in the health care system.

The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of health care reform.

Write a 1,000-1,250 word paper that addresses the following:

  1. Analyze the nature of health care reform in the United States, both in the past and present.
  2. Discuss the two needed elements in health care reform and why they hold importance.
  3. Evaluate a minimum of three different health care reform strategies and provide a rationale for each.
  4. Choose one of the three areas (above) and provide a specific example of health care reform at either the state or national level: (a) What was it called? (b) Who introduced it? (c) When was it introduced? (d) What was its ultimate purpose? and (e) Did it succeed? If not, why not?

Incorporate two or three peer-reviewed scholarly resources in your paper.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.