Sample Critical Thinking Paper on Policy Analysis on Law that Affects the Elderly

The Social Security Act 1976 H.R.2389 was introduced into the 94th Congress on 29 January 1975 for amendment. This bill’s roots were in the 1930s during the economic crisis period that was encompassing the United States of America. Dewitt (2010) argues that economic crisis is a universal human problem that any individual may encounter. During an event when the breadwinner dies or is too old to work, disabled, or faces involuntary unemployment, the family may face numerous challenges in maintaining themselves and the affected person. Therefore, the federal government devises a way of countering such a situation that may affect its residents. Dewitt (2010) argues that the only functional way to counter this issue was introducing an insurance principle to minimize the individual’s economic risk. The insurance principle meant that people contribute to a collective fund from which the benefits are paid to a covered individual in case of a loss. The elderly were always left out in the insurance program in the ancient America because the life expectancy was short. However, in the 20th century things changed due to improved sanitation, health care, and living standards increasing life expectancy (Andrea, 1996). As a result, the Social Security Act 1976 decided to include the elderly in the health insurance program.

Initially, the bill was enacted on 30th July in 1965, when it was created to provide the United States residents with Medicaid and Medicare programs (Patricia & Weaver, 2005). This was the final draft of Social Security Act that was introduced in 1935 by the president at that time known as Franklin D. Roosevelt. The main purpose of this bill was to offer immediate reprieve to relatives in regards to their health issues when their relations retired from civil service. It aimed to offer security in the health care needs of relatives even when the income-earners in families retired. Since the bill was signed into law in 1935, it experienced several amendments and expansion so that it could be more inclusive and integrative (Patricia & Weaver, 2005). For example, in 1939, the bill included juvenile, significant other, and survivor benefits to the retirement benefits. One year later, the amendments allowed monthly benefits; however, no more changes were introduced for the next one decade due to war. Immediately in 1950, the benefits were increased substantially, people close to the benefits were included, and disability insurance introduced.

In 1965, a remarkable amendment was enacted in the health insurance where Medicare program was created. The changes did not stop not until the end of a subsequent ten year period. Patricia and Weaver (2005) assert that benefit levels had increased twice (it was 7% in 1965 and 13% in 1968), combined payroll tax amounted to 8.4% and taxable peak stabilized at $7800. According to Andrea (1996), at this point the program provided federal monies to refund health care practitioners for the health care persons over the age of 65 who were eligible for the social security fund. This implies that the legislative of including the elderly in the federal health insurance was embraced in 1965. This conclusion was not made easily without some disagreements in the congress. Some of the legislators were suggesting that doctors’ amenities be funded and insurance coverage for the elderly be on voluntary basis. This meant that if an elderly really needed help, his or her benefits should be clambered to the quantity of the applicant’s Social Security cash benefits. On the other hand, AMA proposed Eldercare wherethe government provides resources for physician’s amenities, surgical care, medicines, nursing home charges, and X-ray and lab services (LaTour, 2013). The bill was brought to the congress in March 1965 and it went over 500 amendments before it garnered the majority vote (Dewitt, 2010). It was categorized into two titles; the Title XVIII which became Medicare and it also had part A and B. Part A offers hospital cover for the elderly and Part B catered for supplementary medical insurance (LaTour, 2013). Title XIX became Medicaid and caters for health care to persons near the communal support level.

In 1975, the Part B of the tittle XVIII of the Social Security was amended to broaden the coverage of home health services (Karger & Stoesz, 2012). As mentioned earlier, the act was dived into two titles where title XVIII had two parts. Part A catered for the aged hospital insurance and part B provided supplementary medical insurance. At this time, the changes removed the 100-visit limitation and extended post-hospital home health services. These changes have affected the effects created by this policy. Blair (2015) states that the U.S.A president called on policy makers and citizens to uphold the Older Americans Act (OAA), and Social Security robust and available not only for the aged but also for the younger generations. This means that the policy is far-fetched and aims at achieving long-term goals for the elderly. Broaden the coverage for the act is such an advantageous issue for the beneficiary. Firstly, the act recognizes the disabled especially those who were affected while rendering services to the government.  The second bit is that the act recognizes the social problems that a family experiences when a relative retires. This includes the physical and emotional injuries that a person gains during the period that he or she renders services. For instances, combatants experience numerous challenges especially at the battle field. They are treated with unpleasant events such as watching their friends being butchered or suffer in the hands of the enemy. When they retire, these events keep on re-occurring on their minds and they fail to incorporate back to the society. This means that they will have to visit a health care facility regularly and it might be costly. The policy covers these issues and allows them to visit the hospital without problems since they are covered. It shows that the policy supports future generations who wish to join the public service. They are assured that they will be covered after work meaning that they will be willing to join the service.

One of the most challenging issues regards the financial crisis meant for funding the act. Funding the act is becoming a problem based on the numerous benefits the act covers. In 1970, general benefits had rose by 15% and 10% in 1971. As if that was not enough, legislation provided 20% increase in benefits in 1972 and created special minimum benefit intended to help long-standing, lower-earning workers (Patricia & Weaver, 2005). Dewitt (2010) says that the last major expansion on the program was done in 1972 and has continued up to date. This when the policymakers decided to raise a red flag and arrived at provisions that would replace the ad hoc increases programme modifications that are based on price progression. The provisions also sort for altering taxable extreme amounts that provided consecutiveassociates of pensioners with rapidly snowballing benefit expanses. Actually, has continuously sort ways of funding this policy based on the advantages it brings to the nation. Blair (2015) says that the law is seriously underfunded to meet the needs of elders who have both chronic conditions and functional limitations. This means that the government has to look for alternative ways of supporting this law in order to avoid watering down its immense positive impacts.

The Social Security Act 1976 H.R.2389 is a policy that seeks to protect the rights of the elderly and the disadvantaged in the society. It has provided a foundation to a number of policies that aims at creating sustainable lives for the aged. President Obama announced the refurbishment of nursing homes and providing adequate resources (Blair, 2015). It is important for the government to enact laws that will reduce health care costs. Unfortunately, the government of United States of America uses most of its GDP in catering for health care services. This includes buying drugs, paying staff, research, technological advancement, and also insurance coverage. Therefore, this policy is timely and sets to provide a platform that will handle health care for the aged. The act also protects the beneficiaries from exhortation by the medical practitioners. Andrea (1996) says that the Medicaid anti-kickback element of the Social Security Act prohibits an individual from offering or accepting remunerations for referrals of Medicare patients. This means that an insured person should not be required to pay for services received from a health facility. The social security act has undergone several amendments and changes that are meant to achieve the set objectives. The bottom line remains that health remains the most important aspect of life.

 

References

Andrea T. Vavonese, (1996). The Medicare Anti-Kickback Provision of the Social Security Act – Is Ignorance of the Law an Excuse for Fraudulent and Abusive Use of the System?, 45 Cath. U. L. Rev. 943- 1049

Blair, E. (27 July 2015). Sixth White House Conference on Aging. Now Its Time to do More. Medicaring.org.

Dewitt, L. (2010). The development of social security in America. Social Security Bulletin. 70(3)

Karger, Howard Jacob, &Stoesz, David. (2012). American Social Welfare Policy + MysearchlabWithEtext: A Pluralist Approach. Pearson College Div.

LaTour, K. (2013). Health Information Management: Concepts, Principles, and Practice (4th ed). AHIMA Press.

Patricia, P. & Weaver, D. (2005) Social security: A program and policy history. Social security Bulletin. 66 (1)