Policy Process Part I

Policy Process Part I Women’s health care needs will always maintain a policy status as technology and changes in medicine or services occur. As long as women continue to dominate stakeholder status, reforms of programs are very much in need so that every women regardless of status can receive quality care without high cost, restrictions, or refusals for pre-existing conditions “because being a women is not a pre-existing condition” (KaiserEDU. org, 2012a, p. 1).

So to understand the processes of how policies affect women’s health, the following explanation of the three stages will provide insight into how a topic might become a policy or fail to become a policy that affects women’s health care. Formulation Stage The formulation process begins with an idea or an approach that could solve a problem. The process also involves one or more parties such as interest groups, the executive branch, the courts, or Congress. The problem or idea is usually not in consideration for policy until it becomes a well-known issue in society or a problem that has seen a serious rise above what society will tolerate.

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For example, the issue on women’s health such as, coverage and access to care. The number one priority is to cover those women currently uninsured, the scope of coverage, and to address the rising cost of health care (KaiserEDU. org, 2012c). Women’s health care is such a topic that it is still an ongoing discussion and will continue to be so until these issues become clear policies that every woman in the United States has access to quality health care and access to affordable health care.

That is where the pressures begin to put forth a topic, mount pressure on the legislative branch, and gain support from parties who share the same ideas or have a political agenda of their own. Legislative Stage The legislative process begins when the idea gains attention by an interest group or legislative branch. Sometimes these ideas take on a life of their own and gain support as well a political agenda by groups investing interest for the sake of favors, political gain, or financial gain. Currently women’s health is part of the 2012 election and issues on women’s ealth are at risk for cut backs including the budget for programs and biomedical research (Society for Women’s Health Research, 2012). This is the vital stage of the legislative process plays in women’s health issues, which if the campaign affects the outcome of budget cuts on research and federal programs; women will be taking five steps back and have to deal with going without health care even on a federal level. The SWHR (Society for Women’s Health Research) is a key player in Washington that fights for the rights of women’s health care needs.

Founded in 1999, the group has more than 600 advocates in their network that are the voices for women and their rights to quality health care (SWHR, 2012). The pressure on women’s health care from society or the group SWHR may lead to the “members of the House or Senate introduce bills for consideration by the Congress. The President, a member of the Cabinet or head of a Federal agency can also propose legislation” (Columbia University Libraries, 2012, p. 1). The Bill will go to the floor for debate and sent for revision by the committee.

A hearing is held for parties with an interest in the bill to hear testimonies in support of the bill (Columbia University Libraries, 2012). This stage is when the SWHR would give their input if the bill were on women’s health care. Studies and reports (Prints) are made for the committee by the (CRS) Congressional Research Service. These prints contain the revision of the bill, the committee’s proposal, and some background information (Columbia University Libraries, 2012). The floors actions require the bill to be sent to the Senate and the House for its approval.

During the debate the version of the bill changes with each status within the legislative process such as “introduced, agreed to, enrolled, engrossed, laid on table, received, referred, etc” (Columbia University Libraries, 2012, p. 1). The final action is the Congressional voting where both members of the Chambers cast their vote for the last version of the bill. Once the bill has been approved by the Senate and the House, it is sent to the president who may either veto it or sign into law (Columbia University Libraries, 2012).

If the President vetoes the bill, it will go back to Congress for revision or they can override the veto by getting a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate and the House (Columbia University Libraries, 2012). Implementation Stage After the bill is law, the next phase is putting that law into action, as well administered, and enforced. The new policy is given to the new government agency that will be responsible for making sure it is implemented the way it was intended although in some cases this does not happen (Theodoulou & Kofinis, 2004).

There are also several other agencies that may be given the responsibility of regulating and enforcing the new policy like the state, the SWHR, consumer organizations, consumers, providers, and third party payers (The World Bank, 2011). The state delegates to the professional organizations, consumers, and providers. The professional organizations delegate to the providers and consumer organizations are the go between the state and the consumers (The World Bank, 2011).

The consumers help to regulate to providers and third party payers, as the providers and third party payers go back and forth with information, resources, and payment resources (The World Bank, 2011). However, not all policies require regulating but the majority that do are codified and put into the federal register. Conclusion Women’s health is a vital policy topic because the majority of health care consumers are women or young girls. Women are the “key stakeholders in public policy debates about the impact of reforms to these programs.

Because of their lower incomes, affordability, and cost of care are critical issues for women” (KaiserEDU. org, 2012b, p. 1). The SWHR is vital to women’s health care policies because without them the voice of women all over the country would be in silence. So it is important to understand why policies are in need for women’s overall health care and how they transform a problem or idea into a vital policy that changes the lives of not only women but also men and children throughout the United States.

Understanding how the transformation of a policy takes place also gives consumers not only knowledge but also power to make changes or voice an opinion on matters important like health care reform. References Columbia University Libraries (2012). U. S. government documents federal guides. The legislative process. Retrieved October 20, 2012 from, http://library. columbia. edu/content/libraryweb/indiv/usgd/guides/federal/legproc. html KaiserEDU. org (2012a). Tutorial. Women and health reform. Retrieved October 8, 2012 from, http://www. aiseredu. org/Tutorials-and-Presentations/Women-and-Health-Reform. aspx KaiserEDU. org (2012b). Women’s health. Retrieved October 8, 2012 from, http://www. kaiseredu. org/Topics/Womens-Health. aspx KaiserEDU. org (2012c). Women’s health policy: Coverage and access to care. Retrieved October 25, 2012 from, http://www. kaiseredu. org/Tutorials-and-Presentations/Womens- Health-Policy-Coverage-and-Access. aspx Society for Women’s Health Research (2012). About SWHR. Retrieved October 25, 2012 from, http://www. omenshealthresearch. org/site/PageServer? pagename=about_main References Continued The World Bank (2011). Private health policy toolkit. Regulatory players in health. Retrieved October 22, 2012 from, https://www. wbginvestmentclimate. org/toolkits/public-policy- toolkit/mod2step6sub3. cfm Theodoulou and Kofinis (2004). Lesson 5. Public policy-making: Implementation, evaluation, change, and termination. Retrieved October 26, 2012 from, https://courses. worldcampus. psu. edu/welcome/plsc490/print. html

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