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    Health Policy and Medicare Part D

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    Write a 7-9 page paper with bibliography. Your written assignments must follow APA guidelines. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week's Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Pocket Guide to APA Style to ensure in-text citations and reference list are correct.

    You will synthesize your understanding of why Medicare Part D passed, as well as the influence of the various interest groups and governmental entities during this process. Make sure to discuss both the policy process and the policy environment—that is, the key players involved and other circumstances that shaped this policy-making effort. For this assignment, address the following questions, doing further research as needed:

    How did various stakeholder groups influence the final outcome of Medicare Part D legislation?

    What were the specific strategies and tools that were used most effectively?

    Does the fact that Medicare Part D passed corresponds with your understanding of policy and politics, or did this surprise you? Explain your response.

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    Solution Preview

    Please find below a guideline solution on the background to the Medicare Part D Policy, why it passed, the various interest groups, their role during the process. The solution has addressed the questions raised in poinr form for you to expand to suit our needs.
    Please go through and do not hesitate to come back should you have any queries or questions.

    Thank You

    Health Policy and Medicare Part D
    1. What is a policy
    1.1. Policies define how people conduct themselves, or take on certain actions that are deemed necessary to ddress an identified priority problem.
    1.2. For a problem to warrant development of a policy, it must come to the attention of policy makers. For example, health problems are always there for everyone to see and thus a health policy will always draw attention of individuals, policy makers, the community, business people, policy planning organizations and governments.
    1.3. Public health policy has a visible impact on health status.
    1.3.1. For example in 1965 in light of escalating cost of medical care particularly for retirees, President Lyndon Johnson(D) enacted a bipartisan policy( Title XVIII later XIX) of the Social Security Act, a new Medicare program which had two parts(Oliver et.al 2004) Part A- (A policy to cover hospital insurance
    1.1.1 Part B (supplementary medical insurance which initially covered cost of prescription drugs but this was later dropped leaving only those prescription drugs that were dispensed in the physician's office and not self-administered by the patient.
    1.1.2 Although prescription medicines form a major part of the health care process, they were dropped at the time because on the grounds that their costs were unpredictable and potentially high.
    Before answering the question on how the various groups influenced the outcome on Medicare Part D, it is important to take a step back and give a background on policies
    2.0 How policies are formulated and passed
    2.1 Policymaking is an approach adopted to formulate a policy.
    2.2 Policy making is a logical sequence of events made up of the following fundamental components (Dinitro 2011):
    2.2.1 Identifying policy problems-involves the raising of problems to the fore by stakeholders or lobbyists for government to take action. This includes agenda setting where tactics are employed by interested parties to put political pressure on the government to take action on a problem. Here a political tactic called Non decision may also be employed by a given interest group to make sure that some problems do not become policy. This can be driven by other political ideology, e.g. Whether liberal, Conservative or centrist. This can be an inbuilt mechanism within policy making process that has an impact on the policy implementation
    2.2.2 Formulating Policy problems-This is the actual process of putting together the concerns raised into a formal policy compilation that can be presented for discussion. At this stage many ideas are thrown around but those that survive do so because they meet "meet several criteria, including their technical feasibility, their fit with dominant values and the current national mood, their budgetary workability, and the political support or opposition they might experience".(Kingdon 2010)
    2.2.3 Legitimizing public policy-This is the stage that usually follows the debate and resolution to turn the proposal into an actionable policy in the form of orders, laws which set policy direction For example On December 8, 2003, President George W. Bush (R) signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (P.L. 108-173), which authorizes Medicare coverage of outpatient prescription drugs as well as a host of other changes to the program.

    2.2.4 Implementing policy-This is where public funds are warranted and staffing resources are detailed to put the policy into action
    2.2.5 Evaluating policy-The stage where a policy is evaluated for impact or achievement of its intended purpose.
    3.0 Who were the stakeholders in the Medicare Part D and what were their interests?
    3.1 Providers whose interests in the prescription policy include professional autonomy and economic interest. These were made up of :
    3.1.1 Physicians
    3.1.2 the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
    3.2 Beneficiaries whose interests include the preservation of meaningful entitlements
    3.3 These included ...

    Solution Summary

    The passage of the Medicare Part D programme in 2003 has raised very interesting questions on the understanding of politics and policy formulation, tacical use of and ideology shifts during debates and voting in the United States political environment.
    This solution addresses questions on why Medicare Part D passed, as well as the influence of the various interest groups and governmental entities during this process. It also goes into both the policy process and the policy environment involved with references for further reading.