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Shifting Health Care Priorities in the United States

Shifting Health Care Priorities in the United States

Healthcare is always in the minds of citizens and ranks top three of public concerns in the United States. All presidential candidates in the United States tend to detail healthcare proposals in their manifesto, especially those in the Democratic party (Dzau et al., 2021). While most healthcare proposals differ, they share reduction of costs in common. Another issue in healthcare proposals in America is equity, where people living in poverty, the wealthier, the races, and minority groups are compared. There has always been a need to shift healthcare priorities in the United States, based on the fact that there are substantial distinctions among a variety of quality domains. This essay analyses healthcare issues in the United States by assessing how shifting healthcare priorities has and may influence healthcare policies. 

Health Issue: Shifting Health Care Priorities in the United States

America has the most complicated healthcare system, making changes within the sector very slow. In enforcing and implementing changes, there are many factors involved. One of these factors is complex and slow to alter policies (Dzau et al., 2021). In 2016, the National Academy of Medicine launched a strategic plan to guide health care priorities (Dzau et al., 2021). The set of issues that particularly required more attention include; early childhood and maternal health, health costs and financing, better care for older adults and infectious disease threats, and mental health and addiction. These priority areas would empower people, connect care and activate communities. In ensuring these priorities are met, the government must combat how health disparities have affected black people and other minority groups. During the Covid-19 pandemic, there were clear and visible racial health inequalities in health care systems in the United States. 

People or Groups of People the Issue Impacts

Shifting healthcare priorities highlights the five crucial areas, including; early childhood and maternal health, healthcare costs, addiction, and mental health, the threat of infectious diseases, and care for older adults. There is a visible adverse impact of health inequalities in these areas among underserved and vulnerable populations, including older adults and minority groups (Dzau et al., 2021). The priority has to shift from wealthier individuals who can afford healthcare and have insurance to eliminate these inequalities. The government has to turn its full attention to the structural racism that has enhanced healthcare disparities. 

Impact The Issue Has at The State and Federal Level

When shifting healthcare priorities, the government has to analyze approaches and set strategies to address core problems. The healthcare system cannot correct inequalities alone. The state and federal governments and the public have to work together. Sometimes the government comes up with a policy, but some parties fail to agree with it, although it could benefit the vulnerable groups. For instance, at the state and federal levels, there have been disagreements and challenges to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Larrat et al., 2012). There are various distinct rulings from federal district courts that slowed down the change process in implementing the Act. Regardless that most policies regard various needs and financial issues affecting vulnerable communities, the shift was hard since the impacts concerned service providers, healthcare professionals that could cross state lines, and levels of service and products reimbursements. 

How Likely It Is the Issue Selected May Change Health Care Policy

Policymakers encompass the most powerful leadership forces. All leaders in America have an obligation to assess shifts in healthcare through the lens of health equality. It means that policymakers must assess all equity implications of each policy (Dzau et al., 2021). Each healthcare policy will be altered by setting new priorities to alter all directions of the national health plan. Citizens are the core decision-makers, and setting these priorities includes each community stakeholder. There are fragile states that have a hard time implementing changes. Since shifting priorities involves giving more relevance to particular areas above others, the consequence is the reduction of resources in some areas and excluding others. 

Shifting Health Care Priorities in the United States


Shifting Health Care Priorities in the United States affects the implementation of healthcare policies since most processes have to be pursued distinctly in each individual setting. However, all setting are still required to move towards the overall goal of healthcare, whose aim is a collaboration of all relevant sectors in bringing together all relevant stakeholders and policymakers in different states to discuss all potential ways that could enlace the health of the overall population. Some states, in this case, lack a choice but to let go of their already established policies and adhere to the overall goal of healthcare policy. 



Dzau, V. J., McClellan, M. B., McGinnis, J. M., Marx, J. C., Sullenger, R. D., & ElLaissi, W. (2021). Vital Directions For Health And Health Care: Priorities For 2021: Commentary describes a collection of articles in the Vital Directions for Health and Health Care series. Health Affairs40(2), 197-203.

Larrat, E. P., Marcoux, R. M., & Vogenberg, F. R. (2012). Impact of federal and state legal trends on health care services. Pharmacy and Therapeutics37(4), 218.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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