SOCIAL WELFARE 9
Socialwelfare programs have differing effects on the affairs of the countrydepending on the timing and the administration. Social programs aremeant to address the needs of the poor, children, elderly and sick,among other challenged members of the society. This populationexperiences severe economic challenges, which increases their worriesand emotional setbacks. Appropriate help and support should beoffered them in overcoming the prevailing challenges they face. Thechallenges affecting the marginalized and under-privilegedindividuals can be alleviated by establishing various interventionssuch as encouragement, economic empowerment, appropriatelegislations, and state-funded assistance. Appropriate policies andlaws guarantee every individual equal access to basic amenities suchas health care, employment, education, and insurance coverage. Poorwelfare system or lack of it opens doors for corruption, socialinequality, social injustices and discrimination.
Arizonaadministration is facing enormous socio-economic and fiscalchallenges that affect the provision of social services. According tothe Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the state is likely toexperience a deficit of close to 1 billion dollars in 2016/2017. Taxrevenue has reduced by about 10 percent, with the unemployment rateapproximated at one percentage point above the national average. Infact, the administration asserts that they are creating fewer jobscompared to the period when the US was under recession in 20007/8.Arizona, according to some gubernatorial aspirants in the 2016elections, has not yet recovered from the effects of the recession.Socio-economic status is tied to the availability and accessibilityof good health and other social services. In the essay, we shallexamine the health insurance plans in Arizona. In the assessment, weshall elucidate the current plans, challenges, and recommendationsfor areas of improvement.
Overtime, the welfare system has undergone numerous reforms to reducewastage and curb corruption. Sections of the citizens and leaderscomplained that some people were abusing the program. In the 1990s,President Clinton administration started reforming the welfare systemwhere the states were given the authority to control the welfaresystem. The welfare system in the US generates a lot of politics thatinfluence the decision-making process, not just in Arizona. Everyadministration spearheads policies that will ensure their continuedstay in power while at the same time attending to the vital needs ofall citizens. The current administration in Arizona, for instance,had pledged not to increase taxes. The Republican-led government isfacing tremendous financial challenges that have forced thelegislators to identify avenues to raise money without raising taxes.Any policy on social programs has supporters and opponents,especially the political leaders. The Affordable Health Care Act, forinstance, was widely opposed by the Republican leaders and industrystakeholders. While the policy sought to reform the health careindustry and benefit the consumers, some individuals felt it was nota good move to the business operators (Miller,Benjamin, & North, 2015).
TheState of Arizona has about 6.4 million citizens, of who close to 19percent are uninsured. There are various insurance plans forindividuals, families, and businesses. Various legislations have beenformulated to help in extending the insurance cover to the citizens.The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), forinstance, the state’s Medicaid program. It is noteworthy that thestate has recently expanded the eligibility for AHCCCS using thefinances given by the federal government through the Affordable CareAct. Nonetheless, the hospitals are taxed to cover the state’scosts for the affordable care. There is a healthcare program thatincludes individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid.
Withone billion dollars budget deficit, the Arizona legislature hasplanned several measures to contain the rising public expenditure.One of the approaches was to limit the period for welfare recipients.The intention is to arrive at the lowest mark in the country. Assuch, the low-income earners have their benefits cut-off after oneyear. What that means is that about 1,600 families and 2,700 kidswill no longer benefit from the state-funded program starting July2016. The Arizona Department of Economic Security will have itsbudget cut to finance other essential programs. The legislators arguethat the assistance programs prevent the poor from working hard torealize their potential.
Theaim of the decisions by the legislature is to acquire funds tofinance the state’s operations since the governor promised not toincrease taxes. Unfortunately, the decision has a politicalperspective where the Republicans support with the majority of theDemocrats opposing the move. In a recently-passed bill, thelegislators sought to force individuals benefiting from Medicaid toget a job, later cut off the benefits over a period of 5 years. Inanother move, the legislatures voted to block the implementation ofthe Affordable Care Act that sought to increase insurance cover forthe poor families. It is expected that the move would deny 300,000Arizonans insurance coverage. The governor, Doug Ducey, has onseveral occasions asserted the approach would protect the taxpayersfrom tax increases. Several states in the US have enforced a 5-yearlimit for the welfare benefits. Removing the benefits is unfair tothe underprivileged members of the society. It is better to generatesolutions that will bring opportunities instead of eliminating thebenefits that the citizens are already enjoying (Miller,Benjamin, & North, 2015).
TheState of Arizona needs to have appropriate legislation to augment therole of state government and the private sector in the provision ofsocial welfare. Collaborating with the private sector would helpreduce the expenditure on public assistance programs by thegovernment. Forthwith, the assistance should be limited to ‘veryneedy’ cases and on a short-term basis. The Arizona administrationneeds to consider and replicate the elements in the Balanced BudgetAct (BBA) of 1997 and the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990. The BBAaimed at insuring kids from low-income families while making thecitizens attend to their duties. Such programs helped grow theeconomy faster since the citizens had more time to work due to thefinancial assistance was given by the government. The move to assistthe vulnerable groups is essential but should be done with strictrequirements and restrictions. Providing more opportunities for theunemployed and the poor will eliminate their health risk exposure.After all, the percentage of people covered under the state-fundedinsurance program is small hence does not immense effects on thebudget. Without financial backup from sources such as social securityand savings, the poor face great financial burden.
Inthe provision of health insurance, sustainable solutions areappropriate (Miller,Benjamin, & North, 2015).Case mix management is a better approach that ensures that theregreater control of finances and increased profitability. The approachcan be utilized in two levels. The first level entails lowering thecosts for a specific diagnosis by changing the procedures in theprocess. This can be realized by examining a large portion ofpatients undergoing similar treatment. While the costs may vary dueto the severity of the disease, it is easy to identify the treatmentprotocol that has used the least amount. After the examination, thehealthcare managers can use the protocol in the future diagnosis. Therevenue generated by the third-party payers is reduced substantially.Moe payers are attracted where they reimburse on cost basis henceresulting in higher profits. It is advisable that the Arizonagovernment need to consider more taxes for institutions involved inthe health insurance schemes. Social welfare is a tangible concept,which paves the way to concentrate the state’s efforts in having anobjective socio-economic development. The central basis of socialwelfare lies in the administration to advance the social harmony andmaximizing benefits.
Anotherstrategy to cut costs is by freezing some sections of the budget.Given this, the spending on non-essential items or activities issuspended for a certain period. The significant development andpurchases are also restrained. The government needs to suspend thehiring of new staffs until enough resources are available. The movewould help the government in raising funds to finance the healthinsurance programs, without the need to suspend the initiatives.Nonetheless, it should be taken as an interim measure as thegovernment looks for ways to finance their budget. Certain programsin the government policies should also be targeted as a means to cuttheir spending. Medicare, Medicaid, and social security programs needto be restructured to enhance they meet their objectives using thelimited resources available. On social security, for instance, theincrease in the initial benefits needs to match the prices as opposedto wages in order to limit the growth of the program (Lucas, 2010).
Provisionof social services has many challenges, especially the shortage ofresources, misuse, discrimination, and corruption (Lucas,2010).The challenges necessitate checks where the policy makers should comeup with proper strategies on identifying, implementing and financingthe social programs. With proper structures and legislations, thegovernment can address the social challenges in a realistic in arealistic approach that would inform programs and policies. The jointefforts and collaboration among all stakeholders is imperative toenhance the realization of the intended benefits. In view of thepolitics surrounding the welfare system, it is imperative for thegovernment to embrace the input of both the state and non-stateactors. Collaboration is essential since it will help in identifyingthe most important sectors to be funded by the taxpayers under thesocial security. Non-state actors need to remain active to dispatchthe improvements and information that keep on emerging. Thegovernment should also prioritize the areas that affect the economyand social security of its citizens (Livingston,2008).Some programs should also introduce drastic measures that willimprove the reserve funds to improve the status of the SocialSecurity finances. It is also imperative to improve transparency,institutional structures, and accountability during theadministration of the funds meant for social programs.
Withproper policies, the citizens can easily make informed decisions andparticipate in constructive engagements that will enable them to geta source of income. Besides, the authorities can establish supportgroups that will help in augmenting the support base and care for thedisadvantaged and marginalized individuals in the society. It isevident from the above legislation that social welfare is animportant tool that defines the characteristic of any administration.However, it also emerges that particular policies face setbacks dueto the differences in party affiliations and interests among thestakeholders. The participation of policy makers, citizens, andindustry stakeholders boosts the collaboration by attractinginnovative ideas and awareness on the creation of social welfareinitiatives. The development of such an action results in positiveoutcomes and benefits the under-privileged in general. Theinitiatives should elaborate and address the pressing needs of thecitizens. Since social challenges are part of everyday life, thegovernment should continuously support programs that offer long-termsolutions (DiNitto,2011).
Peoplewith little or no income require assistance from the government.Social programs are inevitable to enable the citizens to getessential services. The initiatives help to address issues such asunemployment, education, insurance schemes, health care anddisability, among others. The welfare system enables theunderprivileged and financially-challenged citizens to enjoy theessential services. It protects citizens from discrimination and poorquality of life. The efforts by the federal government have helpedthe health care system, for instance, to realize the assurance ofquality and value that the citizens warrant. With the challengesfacing the State of Arizona, it is prudent for the legislatures togenerate a bi-partisan approach to the formulation of better policiesfor health insurance programs. A balanced budget will protect thevulnerable while avoiding tax increases. Eliminating the program inthe name of cutting the state expenditure will not help address theplight of the needy individuals and families.
DiNitto,D. M. (2011). Social welfare: Politicsand public policy. Boston:Allyn & Bacon.
Livingston,S. G. (2008). U.S. social security : Areference handbook. Santa Barbara,Calif: ABC-CLIO.
Lucas,D. (2010). Measuring and managingfederal financial risk. Chicago :University of Chicago Press.
Miller,R. L. R., Benjamin, D. K., & North, D. C. (2015). Theeconomics of public issues. Boston:Pearson