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Jim Doyle health care access program


Access to good medical care is one of the greatest human needs. However, this has remained a dream in the eyes of not only millions of Americans but to millions of people around the world. Healthcare systems drain almost every economy with many leaders pushing for programs that would facilitate access to quality medical care. This been seen in the United States with several leaders pushing for legislation that is aimed at improving the US healthcare access program. The question which many people have asked is whether the American Healthcare system requires change. The system has always been ranked best for several passed years in the world but continues to lose popularity with Millions of Americans and politicians being dissatisfied with the system’s role in providing healthcare. There is an up rise of healthcare costs and lack of access to these services, constituting to a major crisis in a nation that enjoys a super power title. This has led to a search of possible solutions needed to restore the reputation of the system to allow the over 40 million Americans who are unable to access Health insurance enjoy an affordable healthcare coverage (Kimbuende et al. 2010). This essay explores Jim Doyle health care access program which is among the efforts witnessed in reinstating the American Healthcare Access Program. Elements of the current program have also been briefly covered to achieve a better understanding of the existing problem.

Current program

The U.S Health care system was ones described as the best in the world. However, there has been a continuous increase in healthcare costs for several years making many people to disregard it. The healthcare expenditure rose beyond $ 2.3 trillion in the year 2008, which was more than triple the 1990 healthcare budget and over eight times the amount spent in 1980. As a result, the need to cut down Healthcare costs in the United States has received significant priority with many people calling for urgent measures. These efforts have involved mainly the government consumers and employers. It was noted in 2008 that the U.S Healthcare system expenditure accounted for over 16% of the country’s GDP- Gross Domestic Product falling in the group of highest costs especially among industrialized countries in the world (Shi & Singh, 2009). Many analysts have continued to project future increase in healthcare costs since it was not an issue to be handles overnight. This dilemma has seen the U.S president Barrack Obama lead in the promoting reform efforts in the health sector.

It is important to note that many Americans do benefit from several investments in the healthcare. However, the increase in medical care and economic recession witnessed in recent years has placed severe strains on major systems which have always financed healthcare and insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare (Shi & Singh, 2009). Many employers and workers have felt the burden due to the increase in premiums involving employer-sponsored coverage. With the increase rate of wages unable to match health cost rise, many American have found it difficult to pay for healthcare services leaving them at the edge of poor healthcare. As mentioned before, government programs like Medicare and Medicaid play a mega role in funding healthcare in the United States in spite of their slower increase compared to private insurance groups.

Why is it that the United States is one of the industrialized nations in the world yet it is unable to provide healthcare to its citizens? Does it lack resources? The answer is definitely a no. This scenario continues to negatively affect millions of Americans with research indicating that more than 18,000 people lose their lives in America as a result of unaffordable health Insurance. This figure is approximated to be quite high with some research institutes reporting over 40,000 deaths (Shi & Singh, 2009). With all these challenges, there has been every need and call  for quick and workable reforms in restoring the American Healthcare system leading to emergence of proposed bills and programs  from governors and other leaders. One of these is the Jim Doyle health care access program.

Jim Doyle health care access program

Acquisition of healthcare for Wisconsin has been Governor Jim’s high priority administration responsibility. He is determined to expand the access to medical care amidst massive challenges by making maximum use of government funds and adoption of free market approach. The Program is focused at streamlining and simplification of all state programs in order to reach majority if not all those in need with his main objective guided by the principle of simplicity. His key initiatives towards reversing the healthcare system especially for those who hail from Wisconsin include but not limited to the following:

A healthcare coverage of over 98%

The governor stated the need of every child in Wisconsin having access to Healthcare insurance in the year 2006. Two years later approximately every child had access to health through BadgerCare Plus. BadgerCare Plus allows the accessibility to good healthcare regardless of the level of income with special emphasis on pregnant women, aging youths, farmers and self-employed parents. The program further augments healthy behavior and preventive practices. The program has shown growth evidence with its membership population crossing the half a million mark by the end of 2009.

Low cost of drugs

SeniorCare Program focuses on providing low cost on prescribed drugs for about 90,000 seniors in Wisconsin. The program can easily be accessed through simple application with research indicating that it provides better drugs compared to Medicare Part D. The state further has an additional advantage to bargain and acquire these drugs at a much reduced price. Furthermore, SeniorCare has led the state in maintaining a simple and comprehensive program. It does not have a tight enrollment period or penalty which characterizes Part D of Medicare. Unlike other programs which have asset test, SeniorCare programs only requires the completion of an application form without a torturous process experienced in many Healthcare programs (Fact Sheet: Governor Doyle’s Health Care Leadership, March 12, 2009).

Family Care

Under the leadership of Governor Jim Doyle, there has been the expansion of a statewide concern for the elderly the less fortunate in the society. To achieve this, the Program focuses on provision of home care, to make it accessible to those who can not access health centers due to their physical state. The program is a long-term initiative aimed at providing health accessibility without any delay and is managed by Medicaid Program. This has resulted into reduced monthly health costs and has allowed a saving of about $ 450 per month (Fact Sheet: Governor Doyle’s Health Care Leadership, March 12, 2009). The Success of this program is however attributed to the fact that it Wisconsin has established systems of business and data collection procedures guaranteeing access to healthcare by the most vulnerable in the community. It has been viewed as one of the most cost effective programs in the United States.

Quality purchase for Medicaid affiliates

The program does not only aim at making healthcare affordable and accessible but also identifies itself with the need of having quality services to Medicaid members through Pay-For-Performance (P4P) initiative (Fact Sheet: Governor Doyle’s Health Care Leadership, March 12, 2009). This is a mega step in ensuring accountability and in transforming the entire Medicaid Program into a worthwhile purchaser of medical outcomes.  It shapes healthcare systems and outcomes of millions of the Medicaid Program.

Cost reduction and quality improvement through technology

Advancement in technology has become key in the entire program steered by Jim Doyle. This has promoted the keeping of medical records and easy access through electronic advantage. The healthcare electronic exchange was created in 2005 by the Governor. Another Advantage is the fact the major electronic providers like GE, Epic Systems and Marshfield Clinic are located in this state. This has turned out to be quite significant in collecting patients’ history records and in facilitates the attention given to emergency cases (Fact Sheet: Governor Doyle’s Health Care Leadership, March 12, 2009).


Like in any other nation, Healthcare is a major sector of the American economy. The system has however been under pressure and criticism for being unable to provide medical coverage to all its citizens with over forty million Americans being uncovered (Kimbuende et al. 2010). On the other, Jim Doyle health care access program is very significant in promoting health in the state of Wisconsin. The program has a target of over 98% of Wisconsin residents and it has been ranked second in offering of health insurance cover in the US.  It is quite affordable, focuses on vulnerable family members and convenient to all residents regardless of their income levels.