Essay Implementing Social Policy - Essay Prowess

Essay Implementing Social Policy


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write a paper doing what Michael Moore does in Where to Invade Next. In other words, you will do some research to discover how another country approaches a particular social policy that, in comparison, the United States could learn from in implementing at least one aspect of their approach, but from a country outside of Europe and North America. Your paper will address the following:

1. What is the social policy?

2. What is the United States’ method(s) of implementing that particular social policy?

3. What, in comparison, are the methods implemented by your country of choice?

4. What do you think is beneficial about those methods?

5. What would improve for Americans if the United States were to adopt these methods?

Your paper should have significant research, and you should use MLA format to cite, integrating both parenthetical citations as well as your Works Cited page. 5 pages minimum. Minimum 3 verifiable sources.

Expert Answer: 1590 Words


Implementing Social Policy

Introduction to social policy concept

A social policy refers to government intervention through legislative or structural changes that benefit a particular segment of society, such as a vulnerable population.  The social policy provides a framework or model through which a government will achieve a specific objective in improving its citizens’ lives (Dean, 2019). Several examples of social policies cover a wide range of spheres, such as health, economy, and housing, among others.  An example of a health care policy implemented in the United States includes the affordable care Act passed during the Obama administration. The health policy covers the actions, plans and goals of improving healthcare access in the United States. The ACA healthcare policy reform goal is to expand the number of people covered in healthcare insurance.

Social policy aims to communicate with all the stakeholders on the general goals and intended outcomes. The government wants to achieve social policy standards in particular spheres of life, such as universal health coverage. The policy then guides the government authorities on allocating resources to ensure full implementation of the programs embedded within the policy framework. For instance, the affordable care Act provided more funding creating adequate infrastructure to expand healthcare insurance coverage.  The policy set the foundation upon which the government would deliver safe, quality and affordable healthcare to all people regardless of their socio-economic, religious or race (French, Homer, Gumus & Heckling, 2016).  Socio policy helps the government create a clear roadmap to set priorities in implementing specific programs that target improving citizens’ lives.

United States method of implementing Obama care health policy

The United States healthcare insurance is largely dependent on private insurers.   The country has a third-party payer system, which means the hospitals seek reimbursement from private insurance companies. However, the nation also has publicly funded health insurance programs, namely the MEDICAID and MEDICARE program. The Medicaid program covers health insurance for low-income earners and other vulnerable groups, such as people living with disabilities. On the other hand, the Medicaid program covers older adults over 65 and those living with chronic illnesses like the kidney (US Department of Health and Human Services., 2015). The affordable care act’s key provisions include more focus on primary care through access to primary healthcare services such as health screening. Another major reform in the policy is reducing healthcare fraud and administrative costs and oversight on healthcare practices and premiums. The Medicaid is expanded to cover more people in the lower-income brackets, meaning millions of uninsured Americans are included in the cover. The rest majority of the American population procures their health insurance cover from private insurers.

Small businesses get tax credits for support in providing their workers with a health insurance plan. A more focus is given to primary healthcare through improved public health and financing.  The new policy invests more resources and surveillance to detect and prevent insurance fraud from creating more resources in CHIP and MEDICAID programs.  Under the new Obama care policy, young adults will have an opportunity to receive cover from their parent’s insurance up to age 26 years (French, Homer, Gumus & Hickling, 2016).  The affordable care also extended the insurance cover to previously uncovered individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Comparison to South Korea

South Korea’s healthcare system is largely ensured by a single publicly funded universal health insurance program.  The government controls the health insurance supply by mandating the employers to cover the insurance for their employees. However, like the United States majority of the healthcare institutions are privately owned. These hospitals seek healthcare reimbursement from the publicly funded national health insurance.  The single health insurance payer system helps control the supply side and pool resources to ensure everyone has at least one health insurance cover.  South Korea seems to have adopted the Japanese health insurance model rather than the American model, which seems more expensive and leaving some vulnerable populations without health cover (Kim, Yoon, Kim & Kim, 2017).  The comprehensive health insurance cover draws its strength from harnessing resources from private, public and non-state actors towards promoting affordable, quality and effective healthcare services to its citizens. The United States dual healthcare insurance financing largely by the private sector exposes it to the exploitation and other insurance frauds that arise from selfish interest in pursuing immoral profits.  However, South Korea’s healthcare costs have continued to skyrocket, a feature attributed to the high costs of specialist doctors consultation fees and prescription costs.  The high costs of healthcare delivery mirror the significant weaknesses of high healthcare costs in the United States.  The public health care institutions in Korea only account for 10percent of the healthcare industry, with the rest 90 percent provided by for profit healthcare institutions. The pharmaceutical expenditures also make up 30 percent of South Korea’s national health insurance’s entire healthcare expenditures.

Lessons that the United States can learn from South Korea NHI to improve its healthcare social policy.

The first lesson centers on the increased government involvement in regulating the supply side of the healthcare insurance and service market. The cost containment has worked in South Korea through government intervention in funding research and regulating the insurance premiums. Korea’s success story in implementing national health insurance coverage is premised on controlling costs from government regulation. The United States allows a laissez-faire model where private sector players like pharmaceutical firms control the supply side market in health insurance and prescription drugs. The cost of care is high in the United States due to high drug prices, doctor’s fees and administrative costs.  A private centred hospital infrastructure presents problems in controlling the supply side of the healthcare service market (Jeong, 2011). The government must control the United States and ensure there are adequate publicly funded hospitals to increase competition with the private players and lower down the prices.  The private sector must have to be under close oversight and collaboration with the government to ensure they bring down the cost of accessing quality healthcare. This means the government must intervene by setting up more public hospitals to offer alternatives and collaborate with the private sector. The government must fund research for new drugs to secure the drugs at subsidized costs for vulnerable citizens under public health insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Suppose the government of the United States wants to transform the country towards universal health coverage. In that case, it must shift from a healthcare system highly dependent on private to one highly publicly funded. There must be a transformation like the one in South Korea decades preceding National health insurance (Jeong, 2011). The Obama care sounds familiar to the steps taken by South Korea first by mandating all large companies to cover health insurance cover to their employees and then government extending the care to most vulnerable. When the government takes charge of cautioning the poor and makes it compulsory for those who can afford to pay the insurer the right premiums, every person will eventually receive insurance health insurance cover. The last lesson is that all the stakeholders need to be part of the health care reform progress they want to achieve. The NGOs, international actors, professional healthcare groups and all other stakeholders need to implement the reforms. This collaboration focuses on mobilizing resources and reconstructing the highly scattered and disorganized healthcare social policies in the United States.


Social policy refers to a set of programs, government blueprints, and a framework for achieving specific goals related to improving its citizens’ livelihoods. The social policy covers several spheres of life, such as housing, incarceration, economy, healthcare, and many other aspects. One example of such a social policy is the Obama care health policy, which provides a clear roadmap towards universal health coverage. There are many lessons that the United States healthcare policy can draw in the implementation of national health insurance policy in South Korea. If the lessons are implemented with relevant adaptation to prevailing American local healthcare demands, it will improve access, quality and affordability of healthcare services.


Dean, H. (2019). Social policy. John Wiley & Sons.

French, M. T., Homer, J., Gumus, G., & Hickling, L. (2016). Key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): a systematic review and presentation of early research findings. Health services research51(5), 1735-1771.

Jeong, H. S. (2011). Korea’s National Health Insurance—lessons from the past three decades. Health Affairs30(1), 136-144.

Kim, J., Yoon, S., Kim, L. Y., & Kim, D. S. (2017). Towards actualizing the value potential of Korea Health Insurance Review and Assessment (HIRA) data as a resource for health research: strengths, limitations, applications, and strategies for optimal use of HIRA data. Journal of Korean medical science32(5), 718-728.

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Key features of the Affordable Care Act by year. 2015. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services.