Research public health issues on the “Climate Change” or “Topics and Issues” pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population.
Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.
Follow this outline when writing the policy brief:
- Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources.
- Create a problem statement.
- Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable.
- Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.
Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Impacts of Policies on Healthcare
A policy can be defined as a rule, order, or law developed and enacted by a government or organization to support the execution of its programs and projects. Policies have been known for providing solutions to prevailing societal problems (Wilner et a., 2017). For instance, the American government has developed policies such as Medicaid and Affordable Health Care to improve the lives of Americans in terms of health. In the environment sector, responsible environmental organizations have developed policies that protect and environment and ensure sustainability. However, some policies have proven toxic to the environment and people’s health in general (Noe et al., 2017). This paper discusses how the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act increased the use of fossil fuel, and thus improve air and water pollution.
The Policy Health Issue
In 2017, the US government passed a law known as the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act was enacted to reduce the tax rate for corporations and also reduce the rate rates for personal tax bracket. Green and Deatherage (2018) argue that the law was signed to improve the economic status of the US people by making the US companies and corporations more competitive both in the country and abroad. The industry using fossil fuel is the one that benefited a lot from the policy. Staff (2017) mentions that the policy provided the oil, gas, and other fossil fuel companies with the ability to defer taxes. Also, the policy enabled oil and gas firms to pay fewer taxes compared to other businesses. Thus, the companies would improve operations, and in turn develop more oil and gas which when used can pollute the environment.
The law was passed to affect all companies operating within the American federal government jurisdiction. Thus, this policy is a problem that is a national issue and should be solved nationally. The population affected by the policy are all the American people living within the US boundaries. However, the issue can affect more people across the globe because American oil companies can expand internationally due to the policy. For instance, air pollution can occur in Africa due to the oil and gas exported into Africa by the companies.
Impact on Healthcare Delivery
The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act will improve air pollution in the US, and this will, in turn, affect healthcare delivery in the country. First, the issue will affect delivery by taking funds that should be used to improve delivery systems. Instead, the funds will be used in solving air pollution-related issues. Second, many people will be admitted to US hospitals. Eckelman and Sherman (2016) mention that the more the patients are admitted into hospitals the more healthcare delivery becomes poor. For instance, the nurses will be overworked because they will be attending to many patients, and this will low quality of healthcare delivery. Lastly, even medical professionals might become sick due to air pollution, and this can drastically affect healthcare delivery.
Suggestions to Address the Issue
Air pollution is among the popular environmental healthcare issues. When air is polluted people may suffer different diseases including respiratory conditions. Eckelman and Sherman (2016) mention that fossil fuel products among them oil and gas are among the largest contributors to air pollution. Thus, to solve this issue, the American government should concentrate more on green energy and discard the energy generated by oil products. Green energy can be achieved by enacting policies that allow allocation of funds into the development of this type of energy. Second, policies should be made to discourage the use of oil-related products. For instance, the government should increase the taxes for oil companies and use the raised funds in cleaning polluted air. The increased taxes will also reduce the number of entrepreneurs in the industry. Third, the government should develop policies that make it hard for new players to enter the oil industry. Though all the mention policies can be developed, due process should be followed to initiate them.
Steps in Initiating the Policy Changes
The first step is setting the agenda. In this step, the policy setters should focus the public attention on the issue at hand. The second step is the formulation of the counter policies. Here, the policymakers take up the issue and create legislation to back it up. Third, the policymakers, should educate the public on the significance of the change and get their opinion. Fourth, the policy should be discussed further and necessary changes made. Fifth, the policy should be passed by legislation and presented to the president for ascension. Lastly, the government should implement the policy using the allocated to the project by the legislative branch. The public and the legislation should be involved in evaluating the effectiveness of the policy.
In conclusion, the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act will improve air pollution by increasing the number of players in the oil industry. This issue will affect all Americans because it is a national problem. It will also lower the quality of healthcare delivery. However, it can be solved by supporting green energy.
Eckelman, M. J., & Sherman, J. (2016). Environmental impacts of the US health care system and effects on public health. PloS one, 11(6), e0157014.
Green, M. N., & Deatherage, W. (2018, October). When Reputation Trumps Policy: Party Productivity Brand and the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. In The Forum (Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 419-440). De Gruyter.
Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2017). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Staff, T. P. C. (2017). Distributional analysis of the conference agreement for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Washington, DC: Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, 2100.
Wilner, D. M., Walkley, R. P., Pinkerton, T. C., & Tayback, M. (2017). The housing environment and family life. In People and Buildings (pp. 189-201). Routledge.
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