Health care Policy and Advocacy Essay

Health care Policy and Advocacy Essay

RE: Discussion – Week 8 – Initial Post
Week 8 Discussion: Federalism’s Impact on Policy

Obinna Chris Okereke

Walden University

NURS 8100A-2: Health care Policy and Advocacy

July 19th, 2022

Federalism’s Impact on Policy

Given the dispersed nature of the American State’s government’s structure, it is common that some policies adopted might be different and unique, based on the branch or level of rule. At the same time, it is possible for these policies to share some similarities. This is the case with the American healthcare sector, where some policies adopted at the federal level can be seen as duplicated at the state levels. Examples are the policies of Medicaid and Medi-Cal. Medicaid is a federal health insurance coverage that targets low-income individuals in different states of the country. The program covers individuals at all ages including children, adults, and the elderly, as well as those who are disabled and pregnant women (Medicaid, n.d.). On its part, Medi-Cal is a state healthcare policy that is specific to the state of California. The policy is similar to Medicaid in the sense that it also provides coverage to low-income populations at no costs (Medi-Cal California Medicaid, n.d.). Despite being administered at different government levels; the two policies are similar since they seek to address the same needs for patients. Health care Policy and Advocacy Essay


The examples of Medicaid and Medi-Cal are clear demonstration of duplication in healthcare policies. An apparent fact is that this process can have both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, this duplication serves to ensure that there is healthcare equality even at the state levels. Federal policies are designed with equality in mind, and the same degree of fairness can be transferred to the state level when a policy is duplicated. There is also the benefit of reduced costs of developing policies, since states use the same provisions available for federal policies. On the other hand, the duplication can have adverse impacts, including getting the balance between the roles of the state and the federal governments wrong. Duplicating policies might serve to upset the balance between the role and authority of the federal government over the health care policies adopted at the state level. Health care Policy and Advocacy Essay

The similarities between Medicaid and Medi-Cal also demonstrate the implications of federalism. One of the implications of federalism is that it ensures a separation of power between the federal and state governments, which helps prevent any forms of tyranny (France, 2008). There is a clear separation of powers in the administration of Medi-Cal and Medicaid. At the federal level, the federal government is responsible for administering Medicaid. However, this power is given to the state through the different versions of the program. Medi-Cal is the Californian version of the federal program, which is run and administered by the state’s government. Another implication of federalism is that it prevents the formation of comprehensive national policies (France, 2008). The two policies mentioned above are a clear indication of the inability of the American government to adopt a single federal healthcare policy that can serve the entire country and its states. As a result, policies are often adapted based on the needs of the respective states. Health care Policy and Advocacy Essay

Overall, it is clear that the federal government plays a significant role in the making of health care policies. This role involves spending on healthcare, which determines the conditions for transferring funds to the state and local governments. The government is also responsible for developing some healthcare policies that are then adopted by state governments. An example is the Medicaid program, which has been adopted by state governments in different versions. There are some recommendations on the degree of involvement allowed for the government. For instance, Frankel (2009), mentions that the government’s role should include ensuring quality and safety in healthcare by confirming that patients have access to proper drugs and medical devices. Additionally, Kennedy (2005), argues that the role of the government should involve reducing racial and ethnic disparities by providing improved access to quality care for minority populations. Therefore, the role of the government in healthcare policies should be limited to regulation and oversight. Health care Policy and Advocacy Essay


Medi-Cal California Medicaid | Health for California. Health for California Insurance Center. Retrieved 19 July 2022, from

France, G. (2008). The form and context of federalism: Meanings for health care financing. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 33(4), 649-705.

Frankel, M. S. (2009). Commentary: Public Outreach by the FDA: Evaluating Oversight of Human Drugs and Medical Devices. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 37(4), 625-628.

Kennedy, E. M. (2005). The role of the federal government in eliminating health disparities. Health Affairs, 24(2), 452-458.

Medicaid | Medicaid. Retrieved 19 July 2022, from Health care Policy and Advocacy Essay