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HCA 255 TOPIC 1 DQ 2
Health laws are passed by the legislative branch of federal and state governments. These laws often rely upon allocating funds to the executive branch to enforce them.  Please provide an example of a historic law that was passed at the federal or state level that is not currently funded for enforcement.
At this time, health laws are passed by the legislative branch of federal and state governments. These laws often rely upon allocating funds to the executive branch to enforce them. Very little funding is allocated for this purpose, but as a result, programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are unable to pay for treatment related to government mandated health measures.
For example, the health law in California, where I reside, was passed in 1995. This was followed by federal legislation in 2010 that established a number of insurance reforms. Unfortunately these laws are not being funded for enforcement. They are currently being enforced or pilot tested by volunteers such as myself.
Given the current state of our nation’s health, it is clear that change is needed. The Surgeon General recommends that all Americans exercise more, eat less junk food, stress less, and get more sleep — all good things. But how can we do these things? And how will we be held accountable for following the recommendations? One way is to have our government pass laws that address these issues. For example, Pennsylvania recently passed one of the strongest anti-obesity laws by setting up a statewide weight management program. However, this law has not been funded for enforcement.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed with the goal of providing health insurance for every American. The law relies upon the executive branch’s enforcement by implementing a “mandate” for all Americans to purchase health insurance. However, it does not currently provide funding for this measure because of political differences between legislators. This has been referred to as the “Lasik loophole.”
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in 2011. This is the first major overhaul of U.S. food safety laws in seventy years, making it a significant and potentially valuable law to study for those interested in public health policy and systems engineering. The passage of this law represents a long and hard-fought effort by consumer advocates, who have been fighting for many years to reform the current system, which they argue is ineffective at protecting Americans from unsafe food. Despite these advocates’ gains, however, there are reasons to believe that FSMA will not be as successful in bolstering consumer protection as some would like due to its funding streams. Congress allocated $8 million per year for three years, starting in 2011, for USDA to carry out FSMA so as not to require additional money for the executive branch at that time; however, this does not appear to be a sustainable source of revenue.
Funding for food and drug regulation is the responsibility of the FDA. Unfortunately, this agency is currently underfunded. This has caused a backlog in the acceptance of pending applications for new drugs and medical devices, short staffing levels in areas such as enforcement and inspections, and limits on the ability to hold manufacturing plants accountable for violations. In addition, until a new law is passed specifically funding this agency, it will be difficult to take action on correcting this problem.
Health care expenses continue to rise each year and currently account for one-seventh of the United States economy. A fuller investment in health law enforcement is part of a rational plan to mitigate the rising costs.
The State of New York passed a law that takes effect August 29, 2010. It requires every person over the age of 18 to be immunized against the H1N1 Swine Flu as determined by New York State Department of Health. The penalty for any person who does not comply with this law is a fine of $200 for adults and $100 for children (Persily). That fine amount is too small to obtain compliance. This would be helpful if New Government Officials enforced this law, but that may be hard to do because many government workers are not getting the required immunization themselves (Persily).