Health programs can vary by states or be uniform across the country. There are benefits and drawbacks that are associated with each program. For instance, to participate in Medicaid, the states are required to follow fundamental federal requirements although each state can expand beyond the minimum federal requirements. There are several factors that contribute to variations in health programs over the states. These include amounts that a state can raise, the level of public services, and the policies that regulate the operations of a particular program. This paper explores the benefits and drawbacks of having a health program that varies by state versus having one that is uniform across the country. Moreover, the paper gives reasons that similarly situated individuals may be treated differently in different states.
The benefits of having a health program that varies across the states like Medicaid over uniform one are related to the eligibility requirements. For example, the Medicaid program is federal assistance for low-income and financially needy individuals of all ages. However, the Medicare program generally covers individuals who are older than 65 years. Medicare is a federally controlled uniform application across the United States. Moreover, unlike Medicaid to be eligible for Medicare services, individuals must have contributed to the Medicare system through the deductions from their wages. In fact, health programs such as Medicaid provide extensive benefits for long-term care, but only to those who meet the definitions of the program can receive these benefits.
Having a program that varies across states provides the flexibility to states to spend the funds according to their own priorities. However, there are some states that take advantage of this flexibility to alter the nature of the existing operations and national constructs. On the contrary, a health program that is uniform across the country follows the fixed amounts allocated by the federal government. In this way, it helps in promoting national equity both at the state and federal levels. As a result, some states face problems such as budgeting imbalances and deficits. Consequently, the pressure mounted on the state government due to deficits compromises a comprehensive delivery of health services.
On the other hand, because of the flexibility in health programs such as Medicaid, recipients may have a limited choice of long-term facilities. The facilities that may consider desirable by a particular group of recipients may not be available on long-term care. For instance, high-quality nursing homes can easily fill their beds with higher non-Medicaid patients so that they do not accept Medicaid recipients. Secondly, nursing homes that admit patients with a health program that varies across states often assign a limited number of beds to them. And, the waiting lists for such patients among the most popular facilities are usually long.
In addition, there are types of long-term care that is not available to patients under health programs such as Medicaid. For instance, the eligibility for home and community-based services and funding is usually limited. There are a few state programs that pay benefits for care in assisted living residences. As a consequence, patients who require home-based care are forced to enter a nursing home. Most of the states do not extend such services beyond the nursing home that are not certified by that program.
A health program that follows the rules set by the federal government is more beneficial when enrolling beneficiaries. For example, an individual automatically enrolls for a Medicare program once he or she reaches 65 years. Secondly, the coverage costs depend on the plan chosen by a recipient. For instance, under the Medicare program, a recipient can choose to enroll for Part B. In this case, the costs will cover outpatient care services and some preventive care. On the other hand, a health program that is unique in every state faces some limitations. Illustratively, under the Medicaid program, the eligibility of recipients requires being compliant with the rules in that state. The coverage costs may also be determined by the income earned by the prospective recipient.
Following the discussion above, it is clear that the benefits of a health program that varies across the country outweigh those with state flexibility. In this discussion, the Medicaid program has been used as a reference to a program that varies across states while Medicare illustrates a program that is uniform across the country. One of the remarkable differences relates to the provision of long-term health care. It is evident that programs such as Medicaid extend limited funding to home and community-based services. Moreover, the eligibility for getting this benefit is usually restrictive. In the emphasis, recipients requiring home-based care are forced to enter a nursing home that is certified by the program. On the contrary, the provision of Medicare services is uniformly offered in reference to the rules set by the federal government. In this way, it helps in promoting equity in the delivery of benefits associated with the health care program.
It is fair that similarly situated individuals may be treated differently in different states. For one, programs such as Medicaid have a unique structure in every state. This means that a recipient may be eligible for benefits in one state but in another one, he or she will get different entitlements. Moreover, there are different plans under each program; therefore, a recipient may choose not to be covered by all programs. In this case, when an individual travels to another state where his or her plan is not mandatory, it is possible that the treatment will be different from the home state.
In addition, different individuals have different health plans that are desirable to them. For instance, an individual may prefer being covered for in-patients benefits over dental services. Therefore, it may not necessarily mean that a patient will be covered in a similar manner in all states. On a further note, the number of premiums contributed towards the health program is not uniform among recipients. Some beneficiaries contribute large percentages as a way to guarantee them high-quality health care in their states. However, in a different state, the same individual may be treated differently depending on the rules of that state that govern the operations of health programs.
About the author: Eaton Turner is a bachelor in English philology and literature at California University. Eaten is currently working as one of the best writers at the EssaysWriters.com He also studies feminine psychology