In what way does this article tie into the content that we have studied and discussed in our textbooks, other sources, and on the discussion boards?
The article offers a synopsis of all the core and related issues facing American healthcare today. The article is a suitable accompaniment to the textbooks because it adds new perspectives to the considerable knowledge that is already contained in the textbooks. Marleise Rashford’s article is an apt addition to the course mainly because of its literature review section. Therein, the reader is brought up to date with the state of the healthcare industry from the perspective of key stakeholders.
A healthcare professional needs a strong theoretical foundation to a successful practice. This article, along with core texts studied in the course, endeavors toward offering the same. In this sense there is continuity and unity between the article by Rashford and the other course content.
What influence does this article have or has the potential to have on health care administration, public health, and health care reform, if any?
The article is little short by conventional research paper measures. But it serves as a good starting point for those interested on the subject. The message conveyed by the article is quite strong i.e. there are no fundamental reasons why the United States cannot have universal insurance coverage or lesser overall costs. What is obstructing progress in this direction are entrenched private interests – in particular private insurance companies, privately run hospitals and the huge pharmaceuticals industry. These power centers lobby in Congress and Senate very persistently and persuasively. They eventually get the desired legislative outcomes for their corporations and industry interests. Such has been the case for many decades now, which has resulted in the poor state of health access in the country. The message delivered by this article is sound enough. But the real question is whether or not people in power – policy makers and business leaders – put public interest ahead of private benefits. If policy makers are looking for inspiration, they need look no further than the decade spanning 1990-2000, when several states took early steps toward universal coverage. The establishment of “the Oregon Health Plan, the Washington Basic Health Plan, Wisconsin Badger Care, and Mass Health as the most prominent progress towards some semblance of universal coverage for people of those states. The researchers found four specific factors that made this era successful, and they were political leadership, funding, the flexibility of federal waivers, and public–private partnership.” (Rashford, p.8) So, even in the much criticized American model there have been success stories which can be replicated or taken to new heights. What is required is the political will to carry out this project. The article can serve as a manifesto for healthcare professionals and the general public alike in pressuring policymakers to begin meaningful reforms. What was proclaimed and enacted by the Obama administration as healthcare reform during its first tenure is not substantial. All it accomplished were some cosmetic changes to a long ailing system. On the back of the facts revealed in Rashford’s article what is needed is radical reform.