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Health Care Policy
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Health Care Policy
Healthcare policy involves decisions and strategic plans implemented in the healthcare sector to enable the sector in achieving specific goals and objectives (DeNisco & Barker, 2016). These policies are based on the healthcare goals in a given federal or state level which also define a vision aimed at achieving certain healthcare targets which may be either short-term or long-term objectives (DeNisco & Barker, 2016). For a healthcare policy to become a law, there are certain processes that the policy should pass through and certain considerations made to ensure that the policy will achieve the desired healthcare goals. One of the federal health policies is Medicaid, which is a program, aimed at increasing the number of insured citizens in the United States (DeNisco & Barker, 2016).
Medicaid
The Medicaid program is a program operated by the federal as well as the state governments to provide healthcare insurance coverage to specific groups of individuals. This includes the poor, children, the elderly, people living with disabilities, and pregnant women (Norman, 2015). Due to the challenges faced by these groups, Medicaid is meant to lower the cost of accessing healthcare services in health facilities for these groups (Norman, 2015). The major consideration for individuals joining Medicaid program is that members should be citizens of the United States and should have a low income, which is a barrier for individuals in accessing healthcare services. Although poverty is one of the main considerations, there are also other aspects, which are considered for one to be able to participate in the program (Norman, 2015).
Medicaid is the largest source of funds for individuals with limited resources to help them in accessing health insurance with the program also providing home care nursing services (Norman, 2015). Medicaid gets its funding from the federal as well as the state governments with each state having its rules and regulations to determine who is eligible to participate in the program (Norman, 2015). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has also impacted the Medicaid program by expanding the eligibility and funding for this program which has increased its impact in achieving specific health care goals (Norman, 2015).
How Medicaid Became Law

Expected Effects of the Health Care Policy on Specific Health Outcomes
The implementation of the Medicaid program was aimed at increasing the number of the insured American citizens, which would enable more citizens to access quality healthcare services (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017). This program focused on the minority and neglected individuals who had a challenge in accessing healthcare services. These groups include the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with a low income (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017). One of the healthcare outcomes is improving the number of citizens who are able to access medical services, which is a responsibility of the federal as well as the state governments. With the implementation of the Medicaid program, the number of the insured population has increased, as many of these individuals are now able to access health care insurance through the Medicaid program (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017).
A majority of the healthcare insurance providers have high premium requirements, which make it a challenge for certain target populations to access healthcare insurance which is important in enabling individuals to access healthcare services (Pipes, 2013). Another healthcare outcome expected in the healthcare sector is improvement of the health status of the American citizens, which Medicaid is expected to achieve (Pipes, 2013). The improvement of the healthcare status of a given nation is majorly a responsibility of the government, which is achieved through the improvement of the healthcare sector to enable all individuals to access healthcare services. With Medicaid, individuals are able to access preventive healthcare services, which are important in improving the health status of the American citizens (Pipes, 2013).
Without individuals being able to access healthcare information related to preventive strategies, the individuals are likely to have serious healthcare issues, which could have been prevented if the right measures were implemented (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017). Due to the health risks faced by these populations, the Medicaid program is expected to help these individuals in accessing important healthcare information and services. This will enable the individuals to implement certain healthcare strategies to improve their lives and prevent any serious healthcare concerns, which is one of the healthcare outcomes expected in the provision of healthcare services (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017). Private health care insurance providers have locked out a majority of the American citizens based on ineligibility aspects, which have led to a large number of uninsured Americans (Pipes, 2013).
However, with Medicaid providing health insurance cover to the individuals regarded as ineligible by the private insurance providers, the number of uninsured Americans is expected to decrease (Pipes, 2013). The Medicaid program also aims at providing important healthcare benefits to more individuals, which include Laboratory services, rehabilitative services, and emergency services which are important in improving the life expectancy of the American citizens (Pipes, 2013). With more individual being able to access these essential healthcare services, life expectancy can be increased in the United States (Pipes, 2013). The Medicaid program allows individuals to receive these essential healthcare services just as private insurance providers would enable individuals using their plans. This is because these services have certain complex requirements, which make it a challenge for a majority of the American citizens to access (Pipes, 2013).
The Medicaid program is also expected to improve the performance of healthcare facilities in the rural areas (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017). Most of the healthcare facilities in the rural areas perform poorly since they serve a majority of low-income individuals who have no adequate financial ability to access important healthcare services (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017). However, with Medicaid, these individuals will be able to access adequate financial assistance, which will enable the facilities to achieve their healthcare goals of improving the health status of individuals in these regions. This is important as a majority of these populations is at high risk of developing healthcare issues due to their inability to access important health education and services (Chamorro, Hisnanick, & Georgetown University, 2017).

References
Chamorro, A. M., Hisnanick, J. J., & Georgetown University. (2017). The effect of Medicaid expansion on health insurance coverage. Washington, DC: Georgetown University.

Cohen, A. B., Colby, D. C., Wailoo, K., & Zelizer, J. E. (2015). Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America’s entitlement programs in the age of affordable care. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

DeNisco, S. M., ; Barker, A. M. (2016). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession. Burlington, MA: Jones ; Bartlett Learning.

Norman, G. (2015). Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act: Overview and Missed Opportunities. New York: Nova Science Pub Inc.

Pipes, S. (2013). The cure for Obamacare. New York: Encounter Books.

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