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Medicare Prescription Drug - Essay Example

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Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Name) (Institution) (Professor) (Course) (Date) Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) were a controversial health policy bill that President George W…
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Medicare Prescription Drug
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Medicare Prescription Drug

There are many reasons why changes to Medicare were deemed necessary One of the main reasons is that there had been an increase in the number of Americans who were uninsured. Numbers show that those without health insurance had increased by 2.4 million between 2002 and 2003 and stood at 43.6 million in 2003. Costs of health care have been consistently increasing due to various reasons such as expensive new technologies, overusing of equipments and devices, etc. There has been a need for reform in medical liability. It must be possible for patients to seek punitive damages. Legal system was being misused by lawyers. There was a gap in information sharing between nurses and doctors it had to be addressed and also doctors had to be assured that the information they share would not be used to sue them or the hospital. Health care industry had progressed in all aspects but failed to make progress in information technology. The methods of information management were still old school and hence this had to be changed to improve the services. Therefore modernization of information technology was essential (Bell & Friedman, 2005). Projections said that Medicare would be bankrupt because of the baby boom generation. That is, the number of seniors has increased and in turn the Medicare costs. Even though Medicare was doing a decent job, it lacked flexibility. It did not offer many choices to its participants. It was to address these and many more issues that changes were necessary to Medicare. Main Provisions of the New Legislation and Accomplishment of Desired Goals Prescription drug coverage which enabling seniors to take the drugs they needed rather than being dictated by the government (Office of Legislation, 2004). Choice of individual health care plans that would best suit the individual’s needs. Freedom to choose the place, hospital and doctor along with the kind of care and treatment needed (Office of Legislation, 2004). To fully cover disease preventive measures such as cancer and diabetes screenings. Protect seniors from high costs that would burn a hole in their savings. The desired goals have been accomplished to a certain extent. There have been improvements made and the information technology system has certainly improved. Parties Involved In Setting the Agenda for This Policy Change and Their Roles, Interests and Influences Following were the main agenda setters: The then President and his administration (President Bush), AARP, The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, The National Institutes of Health, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Each of these agenda-setters have had interests and played a role in the policy change. President Bush and his team ensured that issue would not die down and continuously brought issue to the limelight through their campaigns. AARP too pushed for a universal drug coverage plan rather than those that would only be targeted at the poor (Campbel & Morgan, 2005). Controversies Surrounding the Legislation and Claims of Supports and Detractors The legislation was controversial for two main reasons. One was that it needed seniors with higher incomes to pay more for coverage and there were billions of dollars that was needed to stop elimination of existing coverage for the retirees by the corporations. Another reason was that private insurance companies were now given a vast role in health care. Supporters of the bill claimed that modernizing of the Medicare will lead to a better system and ... Read More
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