Defining Health and Identifying Influences on Healthcare Policy modified

Topics: Health care, Health economics, Health insurance Pages: 4 (950 words) Published: May 18, 2015

Defining Health and Identifying Influences on Healthcare Policy Southern New Hampshire University

Defining Health and Identifying Influences on Healthcare Policy
Today’s news and casual discussion eventually end up focusing on the state of healthcare in the United States. This is typically followed closely by opinions on how it needs to be changed to make sure everyone in the population remains healthy and can afford care. Healthcare in itself is much too broad of a topic for a simple solution but one thing that can be focused on is what our definition of health is and how is it being affected by current policies in Washington D.C.

“If you asked 10 individuals what the definition of health is, you would more than likely get 10 different responses. This is because health is relative.” Paone, S. (2014) The World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7th, 1948 defined health as, “…a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition has not been amended and still stands today in its original form. But what has changed in the last 66 years has been significant. The standards of living in the United States have improved, enabling longer lives. Medical breakthroughs have allowed for earlier diagnosis and prevention of disease. New drugs are continuously tested and refined allowing for treatment of yesterday’s untreatable illness. So why hasn’t discussion about health become a thing of the past? Why is healthcare still such a sharp knife in the side of the body politic?

Balancing out the breakthroughs we run into the problem of who is going to pay for all of these new inventions? We have watched the face of healthcare change into a business amalgamation. Political spending by the health industries has increased 73 percent since 2000. Health interests contributed $94 million to candidates for Congress in the 2008 cycle. Major health care interests have spent $1.4 million per...

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Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust. (2013) 2013 Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey Retrieved from: employer-health-benefits on April 08, 2014
Leavitt, J.K. (February 5, 2012) Linking practice, policy and politics: Using nursing power to improve health. Presentation: Arlington, VA. Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI) Program.
Paone, S. Module Two History of Health Insurance in the United States [PDF document] . Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Web Site: 936368_1/xid-4936368_1
Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.
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