Wednesday, 20 December 2017 08:01

Financing of Healthcare Featured

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Policymakers handle the vital task of establishing which healthcare services can be financed through government programs. The main purpose of the passing of the affordable care act was to ascertain improved healthcare access among the American public. However, with hard economic times, the finances needed to operate affordable care to profitable levels is inadequate. Other than finances, the Americans healthcare system has to grapple with a shortage of physicians and nurses needed to ascertain the affordable system is successful.


The expansion of Medicare was a boost to America’s healthcare system as it meant that more Americans could access health care services. However, the Medicare payment advisory commission (Med PAC) determined healthcare services that the Medicare program will provide. MedPAC selects the medications, treatments and procedures based on the public need rather than the overall profits. MedPAC is expected to select procedure, treatments and medications that are not too cost prohibitive. The requirement, to select medical interventions that are not too costly leaves the advisory board at a dilemma. The board might establish a very effective drug, but it may be too costly for the government’s comfort. Med PAC’s recommendation for the use of the drug Provenge for the management of prostate cancer is an example of the dilemma that the board faces (Milstead, 2013).

 Provenge is a vaccine that has been proven to prolong the life of patients with prostate cancer. The vaccine would be a relief for many patients struggling with prostate cancer. Unfortunately, the vaccine costs approximately $93,000 thus very costs for the government-funded healthcare system. Prostate cancer is estimated to affect approximately 190,000 men every year (Stein, 2010). The use of a vaccine to prolong life would give the patients hope to live. The expense nature of the vaccine, however means that the individual patients cannot afford the medication, from the own pockets. The government, on the other hand, would appear to over-stretch its financial capabilities by including the vaccine into the list of medications and treatments it provides.

The decision whether to adopt an expensive, medication, treatment or procedure intensifies the tension between cost and care. Health programs such as Medicare strive to serve the entire American population. The need, to adopt strategies that are favorable for the millions of individuals covered under Medicare thus becomes the priority. If the government begins providing expensive medication to certain groups of individuals under Medicare, other patients medical, and treatment needs may be jeopardized. Unfortunately, the public may perceive the government decision as unethical as it denies the patients a vital medical procedure or treatment strategy. The tension thus intensifies as the public desires for the government to overlook the cost of the procedures it approves and focus on assisting the public access quality care. In contrast, the government emphasizes on providing quality healthcare services to all (Milstead, 2013). The provision of quality healthcare services to all can only be achieved if the government remains mindful of the overall costs of the treatment medication and procedure it adopts.


The revision America’s healthcare system led to the expansion of healthcare insurance coverage under Medicare. However, MedPAC is tasked with the duty of determining the medication and treatment options that the public would use. The commission has had to make decisions on the basis of care rather than cost thus causing tension as Medicare cannot funds some procedures that are too costly.


Milstead, J. A. (2013). Health policy and politics: A nurse's guide (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Stein, R. (2010). Review of prostate cancer drug provenge renews medical cost-benefit debate. The Washington post.

Janet Peter is the Managing Director of MeldaResearch.Com a globally competitive custom writing service which is the premiere provider of Essay Writing Services, Research Paper Writing Services at Term Paper Writing Services at very affordable cost. For 9 years, she has helped a number of students in different academic subjects.

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