The agency mandated with protection and assessment of health conditions to all citizens and immigrants of United States is the department of health and human service. This is usually abbreviated as the HHS department (Siplon, 2002). This arm of the United States’ government plays diverse roles and ensures full implementations of Care Acts that are affordable alongside emphasizing on maintaining the integrity of the various programs offered in relation to Medicare in the United States (Ford & Spicer, 2012). HIV/AIDS pandemics have been reported to be on the rise in the recent past in the United States of America. According to a report issued by the center for the disease control (CDC) in 2012, 1.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. A good percentage of persons (roughly 20%) are familiar with their status. This has led to increased death rates in the past three years; in 2011, estimate of 16000 persons died from the pandemic; 17960 in 2012 and 18642 in 2013. The numbers of persons whose immune system have been debilitated by the virus and succumbed to death since the diagnosis of the pandemic according to CDC reports is 711250 of the United States population (Ford & Spicer, 2012). This has led to the formulation of certain policies by the government under the Care Act to help in the management of the disease.
Major Policy Issues on Health Care and HIV/AIDS Management
The united states’ president, Barrack Obama and the government have formulated certain policies under the Care At in the department of HHS to help the state manage the rate at which the diseases is increasing and the number of deaths that results from the latter. According to the United States’ government, full implementation of the formulated policies by the HHS department would be of great significance in the management of this deadly disease alongside increasing the health policy of the United States (Siplon, 2002). These major policies include the following:
- Lowering the number of persons contracting the virus.
- Improving availability and admittance to Medicare and maximizing health care outcomes to persons who have contracted HIV/AIDS.
- Minimizing the health care unevenness correlated to HIV/AIDS.
- In delivering a well correspondent National Response to the HIV/AIDS infections in America.
Role of the Government in Relation to Each Policy
The government of the United States of America has taken upon itself the initiative of ensuring the number of persons contracting HIV/AIDS is lowered. As a policy under the Care Act its focus is on the modest techniques and resources in prevention of the pandemic. This policy was founded on the basis that there are certain groups of persons who are more vulnerable to the disease than the others (Smallman, 2007). Such groups include the Negros, Latinas and Latinos, drug addicts, gays and bisexuals regardless of the race or ethical background. In addition were persons from Puerto Rico, South and Northeast of the United States, and those inhibiting the Virgin Island of the United States? According to the United State' President, reducing the community's collective prevalence of HIV contraction would only be achieved through putting much focus in these regions that are at high risks of the epidemic. According to the reports by the Kaiser Family Foundation, introducing a diverse approach of managing possible contraction of the disease alongside prevention through the use of contraceptives, pills, etc. would have a great impact in reducing the number of persons contracting the disease (Ford & Spicer, 2012). Amongst the approaches that were considered included; expansion and building more centers for HIV/AIDS testing, HIV/AIDS awareness through campaigns and mobilization of persons on behaviors that put one at more risk of contracting the disease; proper administration of medications and healthcare which has eliminated possibilities of the transmission of the virus to newborns, introduction of HIV vaccines and microbicides alongside investing on drug and substance rehabilitation centers. Consolidated efforts by both the public and the private sectors, governments and at individual levels and community at large would reduce the risks and number of persons contracting the disease in the United States of America (Ford & Spicer, 2012).
Improving availability and access to Medicare and optimizing health outcomes for persons living with HIV/AIDS policy ensure persons living with HIV live a happy and healthy life. It also emphasize on lowering transmission rates of HIV/AIDS virus. This has been achievable through establishing a seamless structure that instantly connects people to a progressive and well organized quality healthcare. The American government initiated considerate stages to raise the number of clinical care providers and all other services that are required by those living with the disease. It has reached out to persons who have contracted the disease and those challenged on meeting their basic needs by offering co-occurring healthcare such as housing, clean water and diverse diet (Ford & Spicer, 2012). Affordable Care Act has also been formulated by the government that comprise of insurance cover to persons living with the disease. Federal tax credits that would ensure Medicare access to all persons below the threshold of 133% poverty levels below 65 years of age, and those who have not acquired an insurance policy with income of 400% has also been incorporated under the health Care Act.
The third policy under the Health and Human Service Care Act in United States is minimizing health care inequalities related to HIV/AIDS. According to the research conducted by the CDC in August 2012, HIV/AIDS prevalence is amongst the marginalized groups. The government of the United States has done all it takes to reduce the disparity gap between the various social classes in America. This has contributed to lowering the gap in health care causatum. This policy, therefore, has laid many emphases on improved community-based approaches that have fully integrated prevention and management of HIV virus alongside deliberate outcomes on social service requirements (Siplon, 2002). From an interview conducted, the major stages in lowering HIV health disparities by the bodies interviewed include stigma reduction and bigotry against populace living with the virus; lowering number of deaths within the community that have been caused by the disease, and integrating community-based approaches in managing HIV infection amongst the vulnerable group.
The United States’ government has reinforced the policy that ensures response to the HIV pandemic is well organized and coordinated. According to Smallman, the manner in which the United States’ government has coordinated its HIV responses globally has earned the state international legacy on leadership. In supporting this policy, the President through the Health and Human Service department, initiated the PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan foe Aids Relief), the PNDCS (President National Drug Control Strategy) which serve as a conduit for building up efforts that could be applicable to domestic pandemics and raise the accommodation security (Smallman, 2007). Alongside the two organizations, ONAP (Office of Nation Aids Policy) work hand in hand to ensure proper budgeting for HIV/AIDS is done. The conjoint operation of the three organizations and the federal government at large ensures that the Americans achieve higher standards of health care (Ford & Spicer, 2012). Developing an improved technique in supervision and reporting on the progress of achieving goals nationally. The policy also put a strict manner for supervision on the progress of the HIV/AIDS programs between agencies, territorial, federal agencies and state (Smallman, 2007).
What explains government’s action or inaction?
The passing of the affordable Care Act by the United States government in 2010 which lead to the creation of the NPC (National Prevention Council) is a major indicator of the government’s action in realization of the set policies under the health and human service department (Ford & Spicer, 2012). This has been a very fundamental aspect since its inauguration that has ensured the Medicare costs are lowered and are of high quality alongside giving treatment alternatives for the persons who are not insured (Ford & Spicer, 2012). Through the NPC the government has provided states’ leadership from the grassroots that deliberates on the possibilities of improving the national health unanimously. It has also involved likeminded partners from various regions to analyze and effect advancements on development that probably could influence health. The last aspect that has confirmed the government’s action is its continued interest in aligning the set policies and programs so as to realize their significance to the community. The United States government has left no stone unturned in ensuring the policies that aim at reducing the HIV/AIDS pandemic are achieved (Ford & Spicer, 2012).
United States’ has been topping in campaigns on reducing contraction of HIV/AIDS. However, they have had several challenges in their outreach program that deters the successful outcome of the intended programs. Recent studies conducted by the CDC revealed that the behavior of those who have contracted the disease does not link to the policies and laws that have been integrated to reduce the spread of the pandemic (Ford & Spicer, 2012). This aspect has been a challenge as the outcome of programs initiated does not match the intended expectations. So often, persons living with HIV/AIDS is less willing to accept their status and feel discriminated (stigma) hence putting the rest of the population at high risk (Smallman, 2007). Inadequate efforts on the organization of outreach programs across all the departments of the government, healthcare systems and the foreign partners is another challenge the states has experienced in addressing the issues related to management of HIV/AIDS. Despite the intense campaigns, the youth from the Latino who is much prevalent to HIV/AIDS do not regularly use condoms (Ford & Spicer, 2012). This has been reported from the research conducted by PEPFAR, which thus increases the chances of contracting the disease. Drug and substance abuse has also been a challenge among the adolescents in the United States (Siplon, 2002). Most of American youths who contract HIV/AIDS virus are normally influenced by drugs. Lastly, poverty has been a hindrance when contending HIV/AIDS programs (Ford & Spicer, 2012). Most of the community that are usually at higher risks of contracting the disease have low income and at worse others e homeless. The federal government agencies must there hence budget on improving their status before rolling out the intended program hence it would be much costly.
Solutions That Have Been Proposed
In trying to reach immediate solutions to the challenges faced by the Healthcare and Human Services, the government has put much focus on ensuring the spread of the disease is lowered. To reduce stigma among persons living with the virus, the United States’ government has incorporated leadership of persons living with the virus in its public sector (Ford & Spicer, 2012). In doing so, the persons declare their status and take up leadership responsibilities on programs that are targeted to reach out the other local persons who have contracted the disease. The laws governing the rights of a citizen have also been reinforced to ensure there is no discrimination in both the private and public sector based on ones HIV status (Siplon, 2002). The state has also called upon the federal agencies to ensure there is a consolidated effort in creating HIV/AIDS awareness in all the departments and organization. This would ensure there is a unanimous strategy in addressing the challenges that affect the outreach programs related to HIV/AIDS (Smallman, 2007). To address the challenge among the adolescents in Latinos, the government and nongovernmental organization has resort to intensive awareness campaigns on a use of contraceptives alongside the effects of drugs and substance abuse in relation to the pandemic (Siplon, 2002). Studies have indicated that drunkenness put one at higher risks of contracting the disease. In addressing poverty related issues, programs that reduce harmlessness and improving health insurance to ensure Medicare access to all its population (Ford & Spicer, 2012).
Most Feasible Proposals
The strategies that have been formulated by the government in addressing the challenges that affect the policies in the HHS and HIV/AIDS are achievable and feasible. According to the President, the organizations and forums that have been created under its office would have far reaching impacts on the livelihood of the local citizen. PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan foe Aids Relief) and PNDCS (President National Drug Control Strategy) that have been created has a major goal in reducing homelessness and managing HIV/AIDS through donations and various activities that are life touching (Ford & Spicer, 2012). To add to this, the CDC, has conducted much substantial research that have created awareness to the government on the effects of HIV/AIDS and possible recommendations that would have a positive change of mind on persons living with the pandemic (Siplon, 2002).
Models/typologies that Best Capture HHS Sector
In the recent past, United States’ healthcare federal budget has been on the rise. The Health and Human services and programs that address the issues of HIV/AIDS have, therefore, been allocated funds that require proper accountability and efficiency. The sole reason of the typology and efficiency in Health and Human System explicitly relates output and input based on various policies and programs influencing HIV/AIDS. The United States government through the HHS has outline three main levels on healthcare typology. This constitutes the perspective, outputs and inputs (Ford & Spicer, 2012). The perspective level identifies how and who evaluates the efficiency within those providing the healthcare, intermediaries, patients and the community. Output level determines a suitable interest and how it would be measured. This comprises of the health services including offering drugs, visits and admissions; fitness outcomes including prevention and medical outcomes (Siplon, 2002). This expresses the significance of quality of the services offered. It determines whether the output has met the intended purpose satisfactorily and the weaknesses that have been experienced. The last level which is the input focuses on the methods that have been used to conduct the outreach programs and the financial complications. The federal state budget has allocated much capital to help to rule out the formulated programs (Siplon, 2002).
Similarities and differences of the HHS Sector to three others
The health and Human Service department in the United States has been one of its own compared to the other arms of the government. The policies that have been formulated by the government in managing the HIV/AIDS pandemic have resulted into much expenditure (Ford & Spicer, 2012). The healthcare budget in the recent past has taken a larger percentage compared to the immigration, education and agriculture departments in the United States. The recent trend of advancing in policies as in the health sector has also not been realized in the other three departments (Siplon, 2002). A number of outreach programs that have been formed by the government and other foreign aids are also higher in the department of Health and Human Service than the other sectors. However, there is a similarity in the three sectors as federal agencies across the departments have difficulties of conjoint operations that would result into successful results.
Sample Interview Questions on Health and Human Department
The interview conducted was distributed to organizations that included:
- AIDS outreach organizations (CDC)
- Health and Human Service department
Completed questionnaire returned included:
- 325 Completed questionnaires with quantifiable data.
- 342 follow-up questionnaires with extra data.
- Which organization do you stand in for?
- What are the levels of management in your organization?
- What is your position in the organization?
- Which programs are offered by the organization you represent?
- What are the main objectives of the organization
- What are the achievements of the organization in relation to the stated objectives?
- What concern has the organization taken in dealing with the youth, expecting women and persons living with disabilities?
- What are some of the challenges you that the organization has experienced earlier.
- How does the government policy favor the running of the organization?
- Give the possible challenges experienced during initiation of the programs.
- What are the solutions that have been undertaken to address the challenges experienced?
- What recommendations would you consider in addressing such challenges arising in the future?
An interview Conducted with the Permanent Secretary in the HHS department and Cordinator CDC program of the United States.
Ford, M. A., Spicer, C. M., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2012). Monitoring HIV care in the United States: Indicators and data systems. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.
Siplon, P. D. (2002). AIDS and the policy struggle in the United States. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Smallman, S. C. (2007). The AIDS pandemic in Latin America. Chapel Hill: the University of North Carolina Press.