The health care policy was first enacted as a title of the social security act that extended health care coverage to most of the elderly Americans. Those who were 65 and above of age were the main beneficiaries of this health care policy. Children who were deprived of their parents and from low-income backgrounds also have been receiving some support from the policy. The disabled people were also supported, particularly the blind ones. The actual implementation of Medicare helped in serving millions of people (Rowland and Lyons, 1996). At the same time, Medicaid was funded and phased-in for numerous years. The program established an early and periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment for Medicaid children. The number of individuals receiving Medicare and Medicaid services increased tremendously through the years. With time, people suffering from chronic renal diseases also joined the program. The eligibility of all the Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries was, however, attributed to the federal supplemental security income which was enacted during the policy implementation timeline (KHN, 2013).
Secretary Califano in 1977 established a body called the health care financing administration to drive the administrative sector of the program. This, in turn, enhanced the total and convenient coverage of every member of the program with health care services. This administrative body also facilitated the broadening of the home health care services. A Medicare supplemental insurance cover, called the Medigap, was introduced to protect the beneficiaries of the policy in the States (KHN, 2013).
The policy introduced the use of waivers, which were both the home-based and community-based. This enabled the low-income individuals to receive health care services with no difficulties. Additional payments were given to the policy programs by the states, and this was utilized in treating the disproportionate portion of low-income patients. Tax equity and fiscal responsibility act are implemented in the Medicare and Medicaid policy. This act made it possible for the health maintenance organization to make contact with the Medicare and Medicaid program (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, 2010). The oversight efforts of the policy agency were expanded through peer review organizations.
A prospective payment system that assisted the inpatient acute hospital was adopted through the health care policy to replace the cost-based payments. The payment system had its foundation on the diagnoses of the patients. Active emergency rooms were incorporated in health care system, thus providing appropriate medical stabilizing and screening treatments to the patients. This came about as a result of enacting the emergency medical treatment and labor act in the Medicare program (KHN, 2013). Infants and pregnant women were later introduced in the program and the policy acted in helping them 100%, particularly those of the poverty level (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, 2010).
Several acts that were incorporated in the health care policy, aided in improving the lives of the beneficiaries of the program. The residents of the nursing homes were protected by the omnibus budget reconciliation act. The Medicare catastrophic coverage act helped in improving the skilled hospital and nursing facilities, where benefits relating to the outpatient drug prescription, patient liability and mammography were included. Medicare premiums were paid by the Medicare beneficiary program as well as cost-sharing charges (Rowland and Lyons, 1996). Medicaid spending controls in the program enhanced full treatment of the patients since there were enough funds.
The health care policy introduced a welfare reform practice that aimed at helping the low-income families with dependent children. This was replaced by the temporary assistance of these needy children and families. With the health insurance meant for the working families, health insurance was made available for all the beneficiaries without limits. In general, Medicare and Medicaid policy brought an array of brand new managed and planned health care choices for the beneficiaries (KHN, 2013). The services are offered through open and transparent enrollment process and also through education and information delivery.