Role of Government in Health and Medical Care
Health care involves the provision of services that help to prevent illnesses that may affect people. In the United States of America, health care provision is carried out by various bodies. However, most of the services in health care are provided by the private sector. The federal government is mostly concerned with the provision of Medicare, Medicaid, the children’s Health insurance program and the veterans’ health administration. Medicare covers the citizens, the disabled and the residents that are over sixty-five years of age (Budahn, 2005).. On the other hand, Medicaid is a healthcare program that covers the low-income earners. Medicare is provided to children from low-income families who are not qualified to be covered under the Medicaid. In the veteran’s administration, healthcare is provided to the families, veterans and survivors of war. This provides the bases of our study on the role of the federal government in provision of healthcare. We will study the demand for healthcare provided by the federal government. This will be supported with economic reasons that prompt this role by the government. As has been observed, most of the other health services are provided by the private sector. Such services include health insurance. This essay relates to a branch of Economics that is referred to as the Health Economics. In the study of the role of the federal government in healthcare, I will use Northwest Veterans’ Home as my case study.
It is important that the federal government provide healthcare to the veterans. Veterans are the old people that were involved in war activities on behalf of the country. Therefore, their health should be taken care of carefully because they have contributed at sometime to the defense of the country (Budahn, 2005). The security of the country is mandatory for an economy to thrive. An example of veterans is the people that were sent to Iraq on missions. In addition, the strength of an economy is directly related to the level of healthcare of its citizens. Therefore, it is rational that the government guarantees the health of its senior citizens and their families. This will be a progressive measure as most of the veterans are old such that they cannot work like other younger citizens. This has been the reason behind provision of healthcare to the veterans by the federal government.
In addition, establishment of healthcare to the veterans has guaranteed employment to many families in the United States of America. This marks a growth in the economy, as employment is one of the measures that are used to evaluate the growth of an economy. This will ensure that there is poverty reduction. This program of providing healthcare by the government is very important as it characterizes the health economics where healthcare must be provided by the government. The economic implication of health facilities provided by the government is that there is planning that is done and the necessary budgetary allocations have to be made. Northwest Veteran’s Home is a nursing home that takes care of war veterans and their families. Northwest Veteran’s Home is a program that operates in different states. It involves taking care of the old veterans that previously participated in war or other veterans that are homeless. The program is fully sponsored by the federal government under the veterans’ health administration. This falls under the department of veterans affairs. The veterans’ homes operate twenty-four hours a day and they are served by employees of the government that includes registered nurses, practical nurses that are licensed and nurse assistants. The patients that use this facility differ in their requirements. Some use it as short term nursing while others use it as long-term facility that requires nursing and medical supervision. They also provide health care to the disabled on behalf of the family members that may require break from the providing care to the patient at home. With the provision of such services, this makes it essential for people to use the services that are made cheap for the families concerned.
In addition, homecare provides other services. Such services include preparation of meals to the elderly, housekeeping, providing assistance in the provision of medication, and laundry services. These are important because they provide a favorable environment to the elderly people and this helps to bridge the gap between home and the home care. The elderly live in a communal life in the healthcare homes. Therefore, the Northwest veteran’s home is an important health care that has contributed to the growth of the economy. It has contributed to the growth of the economy in that most of the patients involved were either war veterans or they belonged to a family of a deceased war veteran. (Wallace & Green, 1999). This makes it important because some of these family members would end up being at risk in terms of their health if the government never took care of them. Some of the families fully depend on the war veterans and this makes it imperative to enjoy this essential service.
The services offered in the healthcare are confidential and therefore it reduces chances of some people fearing that their information is being disclosed. This makes the services offered by the Veterans homes credible. As we have observed the role of these veterans’ homes, it is evident that it is essential that the federal government provide care to people with special disabilities. This will help reduce vulnerability of people that cannot support themselves. It therefore demonstrates a fulfillment of the obligation of the government to its citizens. It is evident that the government provides the highest market for the healthcare services. This is an indication of the taxes that the citizens have paid to the government and how they are being utilized. It is also a reflection of the health economics as it is concerned with the demand for healthcare, supply of healthcare and the market for the healthcare. Health Economics is concerned whether all these factors are at equilibrium.
In our case study, the government provides the market for the healthcare. It also supplies it through providing medical care and paying the people that provides the healthcare. Statistics show that about 15% of the gross domestic product goes to health care. This high spending on health issues is essential because it will help to ensure that the population is healthy and therefore they have the capacity to work. In addition, it entails use of the taxes that have been by the citizens to improve their lives through providing services. It is therefore evident that without good health, people cannot perform their work well and therefore, this may lead to a slow down in economy.
Therefore, health issues go hand in hand with the performance of an economy. The federal government, as observed has played a significant role in creating demand for health care. It has played a hand in providing the free healthcare services to the special groups. It is also involved in providing the necessary skills to people so that they can serve the citizens of United States. Therefore, the government ensures that there enough people graduating with the appropriate health knowledge so that the demand for healthcare can always be met (King & Wheeler, 2006). The government has therefore played significant roles trying to meet the demand of healthcare. However, though it has succeeded in trying to meet the demand of healthcare, there have been some shortcomings. Some of the veterans’ homes are lowly rated because of their poor facilities (Wallace & Green, 1999). In addition, others are faced with the problem of insecurity because of their location. This may pose a problem that may limit the government from meeting the demand.
Budahn, P. J. (2005). Veteran’s Guide to Benefits. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books King.
E. T. & Wheeler, B. M. (2006). Medical management of vulnerable and underserved patients: principles, practice, and populations. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Wallace, M. H. & Green, G. (1999). Health and welfare for families in the 21st century. Gettysburg, PA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.