Economic Challenges Essay

1382 words - 6 pages

Economic ChallengesThe lack of medical insurance is one of the biggest concerns facing many Americans today. In 2006, the percentage of individuals without health insurance increased .5 percent from 2005 the number of those that have no health insurance rose by 2.2 million individuals (U.S. Census Bureau). This paper will outline the state or local function that serves healthcare as well as the trend in spending in relationship to the federal government and the local or state functions. Lastly, this paper will explain if there is an existence between local or state government and business partnerships as well as how this partnership may influence healthcare issues.Local or State FunctionThe local, state, and federal governments do not solely manage healthcare. According to Altman and Morgan (nd), "no level of government - federal, state, or local - has its own entirely autonomous sphere of action, and all three levels interact in shaping policy, in financing, and delivering health care, and in running programs" (p. 2). The role of state and local government is emerging as one of the most important aspects of shaping healthcare in each individual state.In Washington State Christina Gregoire has committed herself to ensuring that all Washington residents receive healthcare by the year 2010. The Governor has outlined a plan that will help Washington state realize this commitment. Her healthcare goals include; creating an affordable, quality healthcare system for the state, increase access to prescriptions and healthcare coverage, improve the health of Washington residents, and ensure that all residents of Washington have access to quality healthcare providers (Governor Chris Gregoire, 2006). Christina Gregoire realizes that healthcare reform is a national problem but that Washington needs to move forward in order to encourage and inspire other states to do the same. While this is a strong vision Washington is lagging behind other states when it comes to healthcare reform.Currently Washington state has the Washington Healthcare Authority program, which is in charge of four different types of healthcare programs within the state. These programs include; basic health, community health services, the prescription drug program, and public employees benefit board. The Washington Healthcare Authority serves more than 500,000 individuals across Washington State (Washington Healthcare Authority, p. 1). These healthcare programs are funded by the state and are available to those individuals who may have no insurance, underinsured, and tribal members.Relationship of the State and Local Government to the Federal SystemThe federal government plays a large role in the implementation of a universal healthcare system but relies heavily on state and local governments as well as private entities to provide the use of such a system. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (2004), "the federal government will provide a vision and a...

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