The main functions of the Agency of Administration
The Agency of Administration is a special department that is responsible for the fulfillment of laws and reforms. It deals with budget management, human resources, general services, IT infrastructure, and physical plant. One of the main goals of the Agency of Administration is to provide the necessary means for different departments so they may work effectively.
One of the main responsibilities of the Agency of Administration is the coordination of health care system reform. Let us have a closer look at this reform as far as this subject is quite interesting for me because I am interested in nursing. We will have a closer look at the Agency of Administration of Vermont, the northeastern region of the USA, namely its coordination over Health Care Reform.
Main aims of Vermont’s Health Care Reform
The main aims of Vermont’s Health Care Reform are to improve its quality, increase its access, and contain costs. Latest Vermont’s legislation was signed in June 2011 by Governor Shumlin. As the result, health care costs have increased from 6.5 to 8.5 percent per year. This Act provides a single-payer system which makes it easier to support health care services but the government should take additional steps to achieve this goal (Vermont’s Health Care Reform, 2011).
The latest Health Care Reform listening session took place on February 23, 2012, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Altogether, there were four listening sessions across Vermont the main subject of which was the future of the health care system, namely its financing plans. The first one was organized on November 29 at the Marlboro College Tech Center, the second one took place on December 13 at Fox Room at the Rutland Free Library, the third was on December 14 at Diamond Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel and the last one was on February 23 at Catamount Arts. These sessions presented the scheme of financing present health care system of Vermont and the changes which improved this system.
The main representatives who took part in these sessions were the Secretary of Administration, the Director of Health Care Reform System, the Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Tax Commissioner. The visitors of these sessions included health care professionals, citizens, and employees who were interested in this subject (Vermont’s Health Care Reform, 2011).
Act 48 which was signed at the last session requires financing plans to be represented in 2013. This Act presents the scheme of distributing finances. Who should pay for the health care services was the main question of these sessions. The answer was individuals, providers, employers, and government. More than that, all these payers were presented in percentage. The main payer is Federal Government (34%), then employers (29%), individuals (23%), providers (3%), other government (4%), and consumption taxes (2%).
Totally, the sum accounts into $5,314,913, where the Federal Government should provide 1,889,478, individuals – $1,226,997, employers – $1,602,157, providers – $130,922, general fund sources – $240,275 and other government – $225,084. More than that there was provided the current sources of income at those sessions. They are education property tax (37%), personal income (24%), sales and use (14%), meals and rooms (5%), purchase and use (3%), corporate (3%), gas and diesel (3%), motor vehicle fees (3%) and insurance (2%) (Vermont’s Health Care Reform, 2011).
Hsiao’s proposal of single-payer financial model
This project was provided by the world’s expert on single-payer health care systems, William C. Hsiao. The question of the means to contain health care costs has become the burning issue of many countries which has made Hsiao’s project so called-for (Fandos, 2011). He bases his project on two health systems namely the escalating costs of health care services and lack of universal coverage. His approach combines the economic and political conditions of the country. Hsiao points out that “The mistake the United States made is that we poured so much money into health care and we postponed our reforms for so long, we’ve created very powerful stakeholders. They are so invested, they make it so difficult, if not impossible, to reform the system” (Fandos, 2011).
The drawbacks of Vermont’s Health Care Reform
This reform doubles the financing of health care services from $4,7 billion to $10 billion by 2019. An average growth should be 7% every year. It is impossible only with the help of the savings made by the Executive Branch, the Green Mountain Care Board, the General Assembly, and other policy changes. If all these presuppositions are realized by 2014, in 2020 savings will be estimated from $553 million to $1,8 billion.
Factually, everything seems to be very reasonable and even conservative and guarantees a healthy life for Vermonters. Nevertheless, many Vermonters do not want to pay for health insurance plans they do not want. Reforms in place will realize in a considerably slow way. It should be pointed out that most of the proposed new state systems will not start their work until 2014 and the whole reform will not be fulfilled till 2017. The raise from the 5.5 to 18.3 percent savings by 2020 only presents the benefits of this reform. Factually, the total savings will be larger than it was presupposed due to the slower growth rate (Walker, 2011).
Many experts point out that Hsiao’s system decrease the quality of health care services reduces salaries in the health care industry and diminishes the desire of many employees to work in this field. More than that, many experts presuppose that the realization of this reform needs more time and money (Fandos, 2011).
The means of improving this reform
Although Vermont’s Health Care Reform has some drawbacks, this experiment begins to be realized. If it has success during the next five years, many countries use this single-payer model. Vermont needs this reform as far as there has been a lot of citizens’ discounts concerning the right to free health care. Although this reform does not presuppose the health care services to be free, it provides the model which increases the access and quality of health care services. Are health care services accessible for every citizen in Vermont? If you want to have qualified care you need to pay. Many Vermonters are still dissatisfied with new reform as well as some experts. The best decision will be the fair distribution of finances. The costs of health care should comply with people’s salaries.
In Vermont’s case, not everybody can afford to pay for health care services. On the other hand, if the health care services are cheaper for many people, the workers of this field will be also dissatisfied with their salaries. That is why a kind of golden middle should be found in this case. The costs of health care services depend on the economic and political situation of the country. If there are some problems and the government cannot compensate the majority of costs, citizens will be still dissatisfied.
Fandos, Nicholas, 2011, HSPH Professor Helps with Vermont Health Care Reform. Web.
Vermont’s Health Care Reform 2011. Web.
Walker, John 2011, Study: Vermont’s Universal Health System Will Significantly Slow Health care Spending. Web.