Free Essay Example on Policy Modification Process

Published: 2023-02-14
Free Essay Example on Policy Modification Process
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Government Healthcare policy Social change
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 938 words
8 min read

Policy formulation is a process that involves the formulation of a predetermined system of guiding principles and achieving long-term outcomes. Policy formulation is mostly left to lawmakers to make a change or either introduce new guides to a probably failing system (Bivens and Kaminsky, 2017). A policy is any intended statement that is implemented through a protocol or procedure. They can both assist in either objective or subjective decision-making.

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Policy and Policy Formation

In the United States, many forms of policies have been implemented in almost all sectors of the economy, but the ones that tend to bring about debate are the ones in the health sector. These policies are faced by so much criticism that they end up being modified by the responsible bodies (Rocco, 2017). An excellent example of a health policy that has brought so much debate in the country is the Affordable Care Act or rather ObamaCare. Congressmen, mainly republicans, are questioning the existence of this act daily. There is so much opposition, especially from non-democrats towards the health act. Several changes have been put forward by critiques of the same where we have seen some vanish in the modification process.

Policy modification, unlike initiation, results when the adverse outcomes of the existing acts or laws are taken back to the legislation development and agenda setting stages of the development phase and into the operational and rule-making stages of the implementing period and bring about changes in operations, rules, or legislations.

Cons of the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received a lot of opposition from all republicans and more specifically, the lawmakers in congress. One can be quick to judge and say it's because the policy was formed by a democrat congress back in 2010 or because it was meant to protect the majority of Americans against insurance strategies that aim at diving up costs or restricting care (Rocco, 2017). Among the reasons why republicans hate ACA this much is because;

Increased Cost of Premiums - high premium costs come as a result of the insurance companies being coerced to cover every cost of individuals even with preexisting fettles together with other varying benefits.

Complications Signing Up - the Obamacare portal had several complexities when it was started, which made it a hard task to sign up for the majority of citizens. Although the complications were later resolved, lots of citizens complained of the hectic enrollment process, which made it difficult to pick the right package either individual, family, or business.

There are Penalties for Non-insured - the primary aim of ACA was to ensure that everyone is secured all year. In this case, all those who are not insured and don't have an exemption were subject to a fine since they were considered to be passing their costs to others.

Modifications to the Affordable Care Act

Some modifications have been suggested to ACA which include the Save American Workers Act which brought about considerable changes to the act. The proposed bill would change the definition of a fulltime worker meaning someone working for 40 hours a week instead of 30 hours. The 30 hours' weekly rule has been criticized for being way too far below what majority work. The mass media have remained to be among the top interest groups in the ACA saga. Stories have been written, rumors spread and truth told by the same media people.

The intervention of the Supreme Court

Following numerous suits, the supreme court came to the rescue of ACA. The reason behind the Supreme Courts intervention is because of the pressure the policy was under since many leaders from Texas and other republican led states had initiated a case in the court of appeal (Rocco, 2017). Their plea was that ACA to be declared unconstitutional with no further discussions despite the Trump administration saying that only a few parts of the act would be struck down.

Despite having lots of critiques, ACA can never be repealed or be replaced with another legislation just like that (Oberlander, 2017). Instead, the act can only be modified to meet the demands and needs of the opposing parties. Affordable Care Act cannot be repealed since a large proportion of Americans rely on it for health coverage, and many are not willing to lose their benefits.

Why It's Hard to Repeal a Policy

Existing policies or acts cannot be entirely repealed because any reform will always have people who experience both negative and positive consequences (Oberlander, 2017). Instead of doing away with a policy, modification is rather recommended to accommodate everyone by increasing the positive outcomes and reducing on the negative ones. In every policymaking process, the modification phase comes in as the primary phase since every policy initiated will always have critics.


Policy modification starts when people are faced by more negative consequences of the policy in question as compared to positive ones. The responsible bodies seek public participation before confirming the reform as the new law. This process makes it hard for anybody who feels like a particular policy doesn't suit to change it. It's also close to impossible to replace an entire health system of a nation as so many parties have to be involved.


Bivens, I. J. A., & Kaminsky, D. L. (2017). U.S. Patent No. 9,563,482. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Oberlander, J. (2017). The end of Obamacare. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(1), 1-3. Retrieved from

Rocco, P. (2017). With their Obamacare replacement, Republicans are jumping blindfolded through the policy window. Retrieved from

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