High Cost of Healthcare in California
There is a concentration of markets across California, which has led to a monopoly in hospital markets. Additionally, the merging of healthcare companies has resulted in increased cost of health care services, with no quality improvement for the healthcare consumers (ABC, 2022). Patients and their employers have little bargaining power regarding the cost of healthcare services. They don’t know the cost of care until it is done, further exposing them to exploitation.
According to California Health Care Foundation, in 2017, there was a 249% increase in monthly health insurance premiums for individuals covered by their employers (ABC, 2022). The statistics equal six times the rate of general inflation or more. In 2021, the foundation found out that about half of Californians delayed or skipped type of health care services because they couldn’t afford them.
The increased cost of healthcare affects not only the affordability and accessibility of care but also affects the state and country’s economy. If the employer bears the rising cost of care, it leads to lower profits, less employment, higher prices, and lower output, which will negatively affect the economy (ABC, 2022). Similarly, increased spending on healthcare could also destroy the economy by raising inflation and lowering employment opportunities and GDP. The adverse effects of high care costs create the need for California regulatory agencies to include “affordability standards” to address the problem.
Healthcare affordability is the primary factor that hinders health accessibility in the USA. Individuals tend to forgo or delay care due to the cost and inability to pay for their medical bills. There have been attempts to improve healthcare affordability related to cost, but there has been no standard definition of fair health cost (Altarum, 2022). A uniform affordability standard will be essential in addressing the issue and measuring the effectiveness of care interventions.
The essence of developing and implementing the affordability standard is eliminating financial barriers to health care. Also, it will determine the percentage of income that individuals and employers can devote to healthcare services, including the cost of premiums, sharing costs for covered services, and expenses of other needed services not included in the package (Altarum, 2022). In addition, uniform affordability standards should be set using findings from various affordability thresholds from multiple programs. Furthermore, it should be grounded to demonstrate the different abilities of individuals to afford coverage and how it varies across different strata of life.
After establishing the standard, policymakers should elaborate on how healthcare is subsidized to increase access and eliminate confusion about eligibility criteria that may limit individuals from receiving support as needed. The policy has worked in Florida, evidenced by the increased number of individuals accessing healthcare since its implementation (Altarum, 2022). Finally, the standards should address the need for excess healthcare costs and the guidelines to follow before increasing the cost of healthcare services.
Stakeholders who support the proposed idea are patients, the community, employers and healthcare providers. Patients and the community will support the idea because it will cut the cost of healthcare, which will increase the affordability and accessibility of care. Also, it will save the community from rapidly raised inflation and lower employment opportunities experienced in economies with high costs of health services. For employers, it will reduce the expenses on healthcare coverages for their employees. Finally, the healthcare providers will be able to access high numbers of patients seeking care, fulfilling their professional call and working in a finance stress-free environment.
Stakeholders who may not support the proposed idea are medical insurance companies’ administrators because it might lower their profits margin. This can be handled by initiating a deep dialogue on the effects of the high cost of healthcare services to individuals and the economy. Also, discussion on the reduced number of clients to their firms due to the rising cost of care will be important in settling this issue.
The increased cost of care to the employer leads to lower profits, less employment, high prices, and lower output, negatively affecting the economy by raising inflation and lowering the GDP (ABC, 2022). However, the idea will help reduce the cost of healthcare, raise the profit margins and GDP, and increase employment opportunities, positively impacting the economy.
Firstly, I will develop a strategic advocacy campaign, including clear policy objectives, possible partnerships, regulations, key strategies, and an action plan (Ross, 2022). Also, I will identify legislative sponsors, understand the political landscape and determine what is non-negotiable. During the process, I will get the facts through research, build support through coalition building, develop goals and strategies and inform the decision-makers and the public about the policy change.
Christian principles and Nursing advocacy
Christians advocate for human dignity, the common good and allowing diversity (Geneva, 2022). Therefore, through these ethics’ health stakeholders are responsible for ensuring quality and equitable care services, tolerance and respect for all seeking healthcare services. Additionally, Christians advocate for caring, offering emotional support and sacrifice for those in need.
ABC, 2022. California aims to limit health care costs with new office. [online] ABC News. Available at: <https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/california-aims-limit-health-care-costs-office-83438855> [Accessed 3 June 2022].
Altarum, 2022. @HealthValueHub. [online] Healthcarevaluehub.org. Available at: <https://www.healthcarevaluehub.org/improving-value/browse-strategy/healthcare-affordability-standards> [Accessed 3 June 2022].
Geneva, 2022. How Nurses Follow Christ’s Call to Care For One Another – Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA). [online] Geneva.edu. Available at: <https://www.geneva.edu/blog/career/nurses-follow-christs-call> [Accessed 3 June 2022].
Ross, R., 2022. [online] Berkeley-public-health-archive.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com. Available at: <https://berkeley-public-health-archive.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/sites/default/files/Advocating-for-Change-Manual-1.pdf> [Accessed 3 June 2022].
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