Health Care Reform – Health System Example

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"Health Care Reform" is a great example of a paper on the health system. Texas is the second-largest state in the US with a population of about 24 million, implying that health care and health reforms are quite critical to the state (U. S. Census Bureau 2009). Unfortunately, a big portion of Texas’ s population remains uninsured. In fact, almost half the Texan population is enrolled in public health care programs since they are low-income earners, uninsured, and have to use the patchwork of local and state-funded health programs. This paper explores the health care reform initiatives in Texas in the last 2-3 years. Health Care Reform Initiatives in Texas Several objectives drive the health care reform initiatives observed in Texas in recent times.

The objectives of the reform initiatives are to transform the health system into a sufficiently funded one and to reduce the size of the uninsured. In addition, the reforms seek to restructure and make the current federal funding more flexible by focusing investments on preventive and primary care, reducing the number of the uninsured, and changing the cost trends of uncompensated care (Shoven & Shultz, 2008).

Additionally, there are reform initiatives to increase the access and quality of health care to the uninsured in Texas. The core elements of these reforms are better care management, improved accessibility and utilization of primary and preventive care, and decreased use of costly and emergency inpatient care. These initiatives were established after the realization that the uninsured do not undertake primary and preventive care until their conditions become acute and high-cost. At the forefront in these primary and preventive care quality and accessibility in Texas is the Health and Human Services Commission The stakeholders in this preventive and primary care reform initiative, which started in December 2007 with a concept paper submission, include the Health and Human Services Commission (Texas), the U. S Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of Management and Budget.

These departments and agencies held various meetings beginning September 3, 2008, to discuss the waiver components for the uninsured public and the basis of the negotiations to follow. At these meetings, awareness was raised on the need to further negotiate and review the waivers for the uninsured public.

The talks also centered on the health system’ s capacity to employ market-based options for insurance coverage such as employer-based insurance coverage in situations where such a policy is available, affordable, and qualified. The other agendas of these reform talks were the revision of financing and budget neutrality, delivery systems, and eligibility functions in health care. The other health reform initiatives in Texas are the First Focus, the Texas Finish Line Campaign, the Working Poor Families Project, the Family Asset Building Project, and the Texas Fragile Families Initiative (TFF) (Center for Public Policy Priority, 2012).   The First Focus Project is an organization committed to the prioritization of families and children in budget and policy decisions concerning children’ s health reform needs and early childhood education.

The Texas Finish Line Campaign on the other hand seeks to ensure affordable and comprehensive insurance cover for Texas’ children. Third, the Working Poor Families Project focuses on developing health, education, skills training, and work/income support for adult Texans. Finally, the Texas Fragile Families (TFF) focuses on facilitating the development of community services for low-income parents to support their families’ emotional, health, physical, and financial problems, more so for their children. Conclusion Texas has realized a number of health reform initiatives in the recent past involving stakeholders such as the Health and Human Services Commission (Texas), the U. S Department of Health and Human Services and its Secretary, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services among others.

Examples of these initiatives are the First Focus, the Texas Finish Line Campaign, the Working Poor Families Project, the Family Asset Building Project, and the Texas Fragile Families Initiative (TFF).

The core agendas of these initiatives include improved care accessibility, affordability, utilization, and insurance, more so for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in society.                                

References

Center for Public Policy Priority (2012). “Initiatives.” Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from http://www.cppp.org/initiatives.php

Shoven, J. B., and Shultz, J. P. (2008). Putting our house in order: a guide to social security and health care reform, first edition. W. W. Norton & Company.

U.S. Census Bureau (2009). “Current Population Survey: Annual Social and Economic Supplements.” Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/regulations/pra_omnibus_final.pdf

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