Public policy is a complex process which involves collaboration of various players to act toward achievement of that public policy. It involves development of laws, regulations, decisions and actions towards the policy achievement. This paper addresses health care policy and reform undertaken in Massachusetts health care in United States America (Kowalcyzk, 2006).
Health care provision in USA has been a major debate over along period. The debate has centered on right to health care, accessibility, sustainability and the quality of health care system. Although United States heath care system is the most expensive in the world which consists a mixture of public and private system, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicated that use of health services was below its meridian. National Academy of Sciences and the institute of Medicine cited that US is the only developed state that does not cover its citizens, thus the debate on universal health care policy. The United States government policy which seeks to provide universal health care has been a major debate which has divided Americans along party lines. ...
Those against universal healthcare argue for people to be let free to choose their health insurance. The universal health program is yet to be achieved in US (Sered, 2005).
Massachusetts health care reform (2006)
Before enactment in to law of Massachusetts healthcare reform in 2006 as Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006 of the Massachusetts Legislature, most of the residents approximated to range from 395,000 to 653,000 were uninsured. US laws require all people to be treated in all hospitals regardless of residency or whether one has money or not. This brought unpaid hospital bills and expenses due to the uninsured residents in Massachusetts (Richard, 2005).
A fund known as "Uncompensated Care pool" was used to reimburse hospitals the expenses of uninsured residents and those of non residents. The fund was raised through state contributions, federal tax revenue and annual assessment on insurance providers. The fund accumulated due to an increase in insured Massachusetts residents prompting the legislation of reform on health care without additional funding.
The Massachusetts health care reform was made law in 2006. The law requires every Massachusetts resident to obtain cover of health insurance. Subsidized health care is provided to residents earning up to 100% of federal poverty level and partially to those earning up to 300% of the federal poverty level. An independent body was put in place to subsidize coverage and to facilitate the selection and buying of private insurance. Tax penalties are given to residents who fail to obtain health insurance (Kowalcyzk, 2006).
Legislation of the policy
The plan to cover uninsured began in 2004 when Governor Mitt Romney called for a cover plan for the uninsured. At that Affordable Care