In November 2003 the U.S. Congress passed a controversial health policy bill that President George W. Bush signed into law. The new legislation makes the most far-reaching changes to Medicare since the program was created in 1965. Please address the following questions:
- Why were changes to Medicare deemed necessary?
- What are the main provisions of the new legislation? Do you think they accomplish the desired goals?
- Who was involved in setting the agenda for this policy change? Discuss the roles and interests of specific agenda setters and their influence on the development of the legislation.
- Why was the legislation controversial? Discuss the claims of the law’s supporters and detractors. Who will benefit from the changes?
- Do you think having electronically stored data (such as costs and access to individual patient files) played a role in the decision-making process?