Homework Question on Public Health Programs
Policy analysis is about finding out what governments do, why they do it, and what difference those activities make. One result of that process is considering the termination of a program. However, this is not an easy process.
(1) Why are government programs seldom terminated? Provide at least three reasons in your response.
(2) Please present an example of a government program that should have been terminated and explain how it may have survived (think about stakeholders and their interests).
Remember to incorporate key terms/concepts from your required readings along with replying to your classmates. You are also expected to reference the assigned readings while properly citing all sources. Initial posts should be at least 300 words in length (but less than 500 words).
Homework Answer on Public Health Programs
Government policies and programs do not end automatically. In as much as they sometimes face stiff public resistance to change or termination, ending government programs remains one of the most challenging steps to take within the public sector. The major reasons why government programs are seldom terminated include high implementation costs, influence from interest parties and intellectual reluctance.
- High Implementation Costs
The high cost of implementing government programs plays a major role in ensuring that they run to their full term or implementation period. In order not to appear as having wasted the money on programs that do not fulfill their objectives, governments reluctantly ignore the need to terminate a given program even if it has lost its relevance. Millions of people rely upon and receive government programs for example; the Medicaid serves approximately 35 percent of the American population. According to Scheirer and Dearing (2011), the large financial responsibilities from the government needed to ensure the program remain afloat run into billions in addition to the amount of money needed for its start up. From its inception to its implementation, such public health programs require a lot of money. Therefore, the government remains reluctant to admit that the money that was allocated for the program goes to waste with its termination.
- Influence of Interest Parties
Interest parties such as Non-Governmental Organizations, Lobbying groups, the private sector, and watchdog groups often play a very vital role in the passage and implementation of government policies. For instance, major public health policies and programs are often sponsored and have a hand of third party interest groups. In order to protect their interest in the programs, these third party groups often stand as big impediments to any attempt to repeal, change, or terminate any government program they deem to be serving their interests. For instance, the Minnesota Care program received a large percentage of funding from the public sector, which means that its support and relevance remain with the public interest groups. Any attempt by the government to terminate it or change its relevance may face stiff opposition from not only the public sector but also from the beneficiaries of the program (Scheirer & Dearing, 2011).