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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Essay on Health Leadership and Community Development

One of the major players in the health care reform debate is the pharmaceutical companies. (“Key Players Health Care Reform” 1) Based on the amount it is currently spending and the other amount it is willing to spend more just so it can have its interest can be protected it can be argued that it is having the biggest impact on health care debate. 

According to Karen Tumulty and Michael Scherer, in the first six months of 2009 alone, drug companies and their trade association have spent more than $110 million on lobbying efforts to influence the lawmakers. (Tumulty & Scherer 2)  Moreover, they have recently promised the Obama Administration they are willing to shell out $80 Billion over the next 10 years to lower the cost of medication for seniors and help pay for President Obama’s proposed healthcare reform bill. (Gaouette & Johnston 1) According to President Obama, "This is a significant breakthrough on the road to health-care reform, one that will make the difference in the lives of many older Americans." (“Obama announces drug companies deal” 1)

The White House did not reveal what the pharmaceutical companies wanted in return for their investment but critics are up in arms on this deal.  (William Greider 1)  Some say that the sweetheart deal is a blatant violation of the principles of democracy.  Some are arguing that in the end it will be the end-users or the consumers who will suffer since the government will be restricted in seeking for lower drug prices. 

In the midst of the debate on health care reform, one issue that has been left out is the issue of the right of the poor women to gain access to abortion services with the use of federal-funded insurance (Karen Tumulty 1).  In the past, the Hyde Amendment restricted the right of poor women from using Medicaid to pay for the abortion procedure.  A number of states followed the lead of the federal government but around 17 states did not ban use of state funds to cover for abortion services. 

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Whether the government-subsidized health insurance shall pay for the abortion procedure is an issue that is still unclear.  Despite the ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade declaring that the decision to undergo an abortion procedure is a privacy right, there is still no consensus on this issue.  While this debate is ongoing thousands of women who cannot afford to pay for abortion procedure are forced to go to physicians who practice this procedure clandestinely in fly-by-night clinics which often results in complications, serious injuries and even death.

Because of the importance of insurance coverage for poor women who want to undergo abortion procedure, I will lobby for its inclusion.  The first step will be to gather the people who share similar views as I am. This is not difficult as there are a number of pro-choice groups which share the same views as I am.  We shall gather statistics on the number of women who avail these services.  If possible, I will also get an estimate of the number of cases of pregnant women who undergo abortion procedures secretly or avail of these services from unlicensed practitioners, the number serious injuries, and even deaths resulting from these abortion procedures.  Letters will be sent to the lawmakers, informing them that thousands of women are forced to undergo abortion procedures from unlicensed practitioners because they are the only ones who provide cheap abortion procedures.  Lobbying will be an important tool in this campaign. (Dan Eggen 1)  If other companies are spending millions for lobbying, it may be possible to get a member of our organization to lobby to Congress so that our cause will be represented.

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