American Healthcare and Lobbying influence how Americans might integrate everyday life. The United States of American is the most powerful nation on the planet, both financially and militarily. The United States has established the most effective government system, since the Republic of Venice. A system for the people, effective enough to avoid the faults of the old Roman Republic which turn into an authoritarian Empire.
However, healthcare, not addressed in the U.S Constitution, has become a significant issue in modern times. The United States federal government should address healthcare for all Americans, and perhaps follow the lead of other first world countries in publicizing, or nearly publicizing the nation’s healthcare system, or “force” private companies to offer health insurance to all employees.
Over the years the United States has been trying to address healthcare for the nation. Introducing Medicaid, Medicare, and other healthcare reforms. Yet, “Some 37 percent of American adults … did not see a doctor when sick or failed to fill prescriptions in the past year because of costs, compared with 4 percent in Britain and 6 percent in Sweden” (The Editorial Board, 2013).
Therefore, the argument of whether the United States should implement a universal healthcare system arises. Economically speaking, the United States spends far more than Canada, Australia, and Great Britain combined on healthcare (The Editorial Board, 2013).
If Universal healthcare is significantly compelling economically, why it is not implemented in America? States such as Vermont have tried to implement government-funded healthcare for all but failed to gather sufficient federal support. Even when the populace supported the legislation, it lacks financial support (Rudiger, 2015).
Implementing universal healthcare would consolidate all the healthcare systems in places, such as the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare, and Veteran Care, effectively creating a system that would be accessible by all and easy to understand by the general public.
Some argue the federal government should amend the Constitution guaranteeing all Americans healthcare as a right. Whereas, the states may work together with the federal government to fund the healthcare reform. How is it that Americans have the right, under the second amendment, to bear arms, but not to healthcare coverage which results in countless deaths each year? (Rudiger, 2015).
The arguments then come down to finances and medical breakthroughs. For instance, universal healthcare halts innovation, and medical breakthroughs based on lack of riches, and reward. Without financial motivation for competition innovation, and investment is lackluster. The increase in taxes does significantly affect the implementation of Universal healthcare.
Although the United States does not have a universal healthcare system in place, it offers low-income, and elderly families healthcare through government-funded services established by the Social Security Amendments of 1965. These services epitomize the American system in which Americans rely on health insurance, either public or private, for their healthcare needs.
Affordable Care Act
Therefore, Americans not covered under their employers’ policies may be able to get publically funded insurance. Yet, employers depending on the size of their workforce, are not mandated to offer health insurance. As a result, working families do not get coverage from their employers and do not meet the income qualification for public-funded coverage.
Even under the Affordable Care Act, powerful insurance companies legally refuse to offer affordable coverage in some states and opt to leave some markets entirely. Lobbying influences the decisions government officials make against some companies.
In the year 2000, 40 million Americans reported not having any type of health insurance due to not qualifying for government or employers’ coverage (Cicconi & Strug, 1999).
The federal government should address the healthcare issue affecting countless Americans, in collaboration with the states. In the end, American leads the world with Apple and Microsoft, Hollywood companies, Nike, Ford Motor Comp., Boeing, Walmart, and even McDonald’s, all American companies the largest and wealthiest in the world. Why not lead the way in healthcare, and life expectancy?
The growth of Lobbying in American Government
Lobbying in Washington, DC has greatly expanded over the last three decades. Lobbyists spend a lot of money on this activity. In 2009 alone about $3.47 billion was spent on direct lobbying expenses by politically active organizations. This is three times higher than the amount spent in 2006, and almost 7 times the approximated $200 million spent in lobbying expenses in 1983.
Back in 1981, a total of 7,000 organizations were listed in the Washington, DC Representatives directory. Currently, the number has doubled to 14,000 organizations which indicates the high lobbying rates in Washington DC (Drutman, 2009).
Lobbyists in Washington, DC include both businesses and individual corporations. However, businesses form the greater portion. Approximately 69% of the money is spent on behalf of groups representing businesses. The thousands of lobbyists in Washington, DC have greatly impacted business in the area as well as the American business.
With the influence from the lobbying activities, companies now view the American government as a partner but not as a rival. In other words, lobbyists in Washington, DC are now free to work with the government unlike several years back when they used to work alone.
The other impact is the steady increase in the number of corporate lobbyists who strive to ensure their companies and clients remain active. This has resulted in new lobbying opportunities and the creation of new distributive benefits such as targeted tax breaks that help to reward those who hire lobbyists (Drutman, 2009).
Most companies in Washington, DC value lobbying because it helps them to establish their offices in the area. Drutman (2009) outlines that lobbyists in Washington, DC have helped to teach business managers about the importance of being politically active, which in the process helps in the identification of new lobbying opportunities.
Managers in Washington, DC have gained more confidence and comfort in their ability to influence outcomes. In addition, they have started to see the value and participate more in political activities as a result of influence from lobbyists.
Some of the commonly known lobbying organizations in Washington, DC that have contributed to the above-named impacts include Alpine Group, American Conservative Union, American Continental Group, American Defense International, American Petroleum Institute, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, and Carmen Group.
Others include Children’s Defense Fund, Mickey Ibarra & Associates, National Council of La Raza, National Federation of Independent Business, Patton, Boggs, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates, and Smith Dawson & Andrews (Office of Career Services, 2012).
Lobbying in Washington, DC has been effective the majority of the time, and this explains why corporate lobbying in the area has recorded a rising trend over the past three decades.
According to Drutman (2009), the corporate lobbying activity in Washington, DC is likely to continue to expand for the foreseeable future. Large corporations have been found to play increasingly central roles in the formulation of new federal policies that have shown high effectiveness.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is recognized as the largest advocacy organization in Washington, DC. It represents both independent and small businesses, as well as all fifty state capitals.
Another large lobbyist that has always succeeded in Washington, DC is the National Council of La Raza, a private organization that helps to formulate policies that concerned with the improvement of life opportunities for Hispanic Americans and for the poor (Office of Career Services, 2012). The American healthcare system may not be perfect, but is one of the best in the world, if not the BEST!
Drutman, L. (2009). The Business of America is Lobbying: Explaining the Growth of Corporate Political Activity in
Washington, DC. Retrieved, from http://www.leedrutman.com/uploads/2/3/0/1/2301208/business_of_america_is_lobbying.pdf
Office of Career Services. (2012). Lobbying Organizations in
Washington, DC. Retrieved, from https://sipa.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/Lobbying%20Organizations%20in%20Washington%20DC%20Update.pdf
Cicconi, L., & Strug, K. (1999, 05 25). Universal Health Care in the US. Retrieved from web.stanford.edu: https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/soc_sec/universal.htm
Rudiger, A. (2015, 03 31). Why Universal Health Care Is Essential for a More Equitable Society. Retrieved from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anja-rudiger/universal-health-care_b_6973164.html
The Editorial Board. (2013, Nov 17). The Shame of American Health Care. Retrieved from NYtimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/opinion/the-shame-of-american-health-care.html