In the United States, constitutional law not only protects the rights of the public; it also establishes both the rights and limits of the federal government. Recently, however, the power and involvement of the government in public health has come under heated debate. Much of this has to do with the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a mandate that requires all individuals to obtain health insurance by the end of 2014. The intent of this measure was to reduce health care costs by making health care more accessible for all, but did the government overstep its limits? Why or why not? How might this and other public health policies impact both the communal health and individual rights of the public?
As you are now most likely aware, public health and governmental law are inextricably woven together. However, at what point (if any) does governmental involvement in public health policy become invasive or wrong?
In this Discussion, you further consider the role of government in public health and justify whether or not the government has the right to mandate public health policies.
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Post your stance on governmental involvement in public health policy. Explain whether the government should mandate public health policies and why. Justify your post with at least one past or current public health issue.
Top of Form PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY AND LAW Both law and public opinion acknowledge protection of health and safety as a major government function. Conversely, public health actions are at times characterized as being inappropriately intrusive. This criticism has been in place for long, but today it is accepted that most public health measures that were at one time considered as intrusive, misguided or controversial are helpful (Thomas, 2013). Public health initiatives consist of efforts made to promote information freely and openly in a bid to facilitate informed decision making and protect individuals from harm by individuals and groups. These initiatives also facilitate action by the society in promoting and protecting health. Opinions vary regarding whether various situations are sufficient to warrant governmental action. I am of the opinion that government involvement in public health is not only necessary but also vital. This is because the government is an essential custodian of public health. The most common being the requirement that manufacturers of health products should provide information about their products freely and openly. Free and open information enables people to make informed choices reducing the likelihood of rather misinformation or hidden information endangering health (Thomas, 2013). Laws may be put requiring disclosure of factual information, for instance, the product content. These laws may also be in the form of provision for government transparency. These prevent dissemination of information which is inaccurate or misleading. Secondly, another key role of government lies in protecting individuals from harm, preventable harm, in this case, resulting from other individuals or groups. The government is tasked with the responsibility to protect individuals from unhealthy environments, both natural the sources of health risks and those created by either people or organizations