SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay

SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay

SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services

For your journal entry, you will explore aspects of your personal experience and beliefs regarding significant public policies and what you have learned in your readings.  For this journal assignment review the following resources:

  1. Rebecca Onie: What if our healthcare system kept us healthy?
  2. Health Reform Hits Main Street: The YouToons Explain the New Health Law.
  3. Illustrating Health Care Reform: How Health Insurance Coverage Will Work.

As you reflect on these resources, please address the following questions:


  1. What are the major current health care issues and policies in the United States today?
    • In my opinion, the policies surrounding this health care issue and the people who make them, are not thinking twice about preventative care and are not concerned with preventing illness but seemingly are willing to promote the use of more medication instead of treating the real issues at hand. Medication is not always the correct answer, there are problems at home that cause the illness, but no one seems to care. If we chose to care, then we would realize that prescribing medicine isn’t the one and only answer. One of the interesting things about the policy treatment was when Rebecca Onie spoke to Dr. Geiger about how the Washington beaurocrats expressed to him how he was not allowed to prescribe food for patients, and Dr. Geiger explained to them that food is the prescription for malnutrition (Onie, 2012). SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay. I am not sure that everyone has the best intent in mind for the health of the nation. Everyone has this straight and narrow path they are supposed to follow, but no one ever bothers to take a turn and consider the other options. It always comes down to how much money matters, whatever is cheaper wins.
  2. What is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – 2010?  How did this policy change the health care system in the United States?
    • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Acts are the actions of the government to help Americans become insured so that everyone has the chance to see a doctor and become a healthier person in the process. Before this, the government did not guarantee any access to healthcare and did not provide access for certain groups (Theodoulou & Kofonis, 2012). What this means, is that there were no legal protections or any way around to receiving healthcare for individuals with certain health conditions. If you did not have any way to pay for your healthcare, then you were not insured plain and simple. Insurance plans were able to discriminate against you based on your health condition or concerns. If you had something severely wrong with you, the health insurance companies were allowed to say no, simply because you were too much of a risk. Also, the access to care was a choice and not necessarily a right of a citizen (Theodoulou & Kofonis, 2012). This quote talks about the rights of doctors, hospitals, and other physicians to have the choice not to see neither accept an individual as a patient based upon current health status and any pre-existing condition which the patient may be dealing with. This system was based solely on one’s ability to pay for services and not for the medical need neither necessity of the service SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay.
  3. Describe one strength and one weakness of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – 2010.
    • Since the (ACA), Affordable health care is now guaranteed, the ability to put a decision back into the hands of the individuals and not of the hands of the physician, is the best modification. Also, the name of the Affordable Care Act can be somewhat of a misleading term. Personally, I thought that it meant that insurance would be affordable for everyone to get However, I have learned that affordability is not always what we believe. I’m glad that we now have somewhat of choice and that those who could previously not be covered can now have coverage. However, affordability has a lot to do with our health status as well! In this way, the naming of the ACA is somewhat of a misleading term. However, it is still a good plan that has been put in place so that people may have some way to guarantee they can receive insurance benefits. The requirements of the required health insurance is a weakness of the ACA. Some people cannot afford insurance and trying to base it on someone’s income with rising costs of living it is not so simple to say based on one’s income that someone should be able to afford a certain amount for insurance payments.
  4. How are you affected by healthcare policies in the United States? If you are not affected, why not?
    • I do not believe that there is a single person that has not been affected by the healthcare policies in the United States. The policies do not deal with only one set of health insurance, but they are also involved in the stipulations for help with Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded aid programs to cover healthcare. Personally, I do not have to pay for health care because my husband is in the military SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay. Lucky for me none of this is a concern but what about the individuals who are not military and do have to worry about this? Those people could die, God forbid, from complications with illnesses simply because they don’t have the money obtain medical insurance. Or, they don’t have money to purchase the food required to keep them healthy. The policies that are currently in place are better policies which have positively affected many people. However, those same policies also drive insurances out of the State exchange programs and into private sectors which lead to less competition within the exchanges and thereby driving the costs higher even for those who will get “extra help” to cover some of the costs of insurance. So, although tax credits are received with the ACA, those credits are not always enough to get someone over the hurdle of affordability (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010).
  5. What were your thoughts on the healthcare system in the United States prior to this week’s readings? How has your perspective been either reinforced or changed now that you are more informed?
    • My thoughts on the healthcare system have not changed before reading this week’s required readings, and will probably not change soon. The ACA is a game changer, and it is a good thing that it has been implemented. However, the costs that are associated with healthcare are not beneficial to individuals who are healthy. If it is mandatory that people purchase health insurance, there must be some added value to those purchases. Having to pay more than 4,000 dollars a year for heath insurance is a little outrageous. Realistically speaking, many young people are healthy and are being forced to pay for this health insurance that they can not afford. At the end of the day, I’m not sure how to change the healthcare system for the better but forcing someone who can not afford health care is not the road to go down. Although there were a few things I liked in the Paul Ryan’s replacement plan, it also still lacks the fundamentally of what we need as a country. SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay.

The purpose of the journal activity is to allow you to thoroughly reflect upon what you have learned during this course, particularly this week, and to provide you with an opportunity to relate this what you have learned this week to your experiences. The reflective journal is not a formal written assignment. However, you are expected to adhere to conventional rules of grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation while focusing on clearly conveying your thoughts.


Kaiser Family Foundation. (n.d.). Illustrating health care reform: How health insurance coverage will work [Interactive map]. Available from

Kaiser Family Foundation (Producer). (2010). Health reform hits Main Street: The YouToons explain the new health law [Video file]. Available from

Onie, R. (2012). Rebecca Onie: What if our healthcare system kept us healthy? [Video file]. TEDMED. Available from

Theodoulou, S. Z. & Kofinis, C. (2012). The policy game: Understanding U.S. public policy making. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay.


Public policy is one way that society addresses social problems through the use of laws and regulations adopted by governments.  In this discussion, review the American Sociological Association article Sociology and Public Policy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and address the following:

1. Consider and explain the following statement, “Public policy is both what government does and what it does not do” (Theodoulou & Kofinis, 2012).

2. What determines whether a policy is enacted or not?

3. Who holds the power and authority to create, enact and/or change public policy?

4. What is the difference between public versus private concerns in relation to policy making and the government’s role in this process?

5. Describe two ways that social science research helps to design good public policies.  Why are social science research skills important for analyzing the impact of existing policies?

Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length. Support your points with scholarly references, appropriate citations, and full references at the conclusion of your post. Cite your sources in APA format. SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay


SOC 320 Public Policy & Social Services

Public Policy on Social Security

  1. Introduction
  2. Thesis Statement

It is not difficult to understand why Social Security is our country’s most popular government program. The Social Security program began as a way to implement “social insurance” during the Great Depression when poverty rates exceeded more than 50 percent for senior citizens living in America when a great number of people were negatively affected by economic conditions. According to Theodoulou & Kofinis (2012) the Depression indicated that many were not saving sufficiently for retirement, much less an economic emergency. With that being said, Social Security has sparked a debate between public and private perspectives as funding for the program has become more an issue than ever before. Therefore, this paper will look at the issues and changes in Social Security and how it seems to teeter on promoting “equality” and efforts to provide “adequate” and affordable protection for the citizens of the United States.

  1. Body paragraph #1- Topic Sentence #1

The original purpose of Social Security was to offer an insurance policy for retirees. This plan had an employee work force providing money for the Social Security fund in an effort to pay those in retirement. However, along the way the life expectancy of individuals increased and the ratio of those actively working and those in retirement started to drop (Anders & Hulse, 2006). This meant that the money that was coming in would not be enough to support the money that was going out. SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay.

  1. Supporting Evidence

In 1983, a Social Security Trust Fund was created to use the excess funds from payroll tax revenue in an attempt to overcome the shortfall in future Social Security needs (Morse, 2011). These funds were to be invested so that the funds would grow and protect the system for years to come.

  1. Explanation

The system that was created to grow and protect the funds, instead the funds were placed into non-negotiable treasure bonds, which would be just like having an “IOU” from the government.

  1. So What?


Anders, S. B., & Hulse, D. S. (2006). Social security: The past, the present, and options for reform. The CPA Journal, 76(5), 20-31. Retrieved from

Morse, D. E. (2011). Social security is in the red. Benefits Law Journal, 24(2), 1-3. Retrieved from

Theodoulou, S. Z. & Kofinis, C. (2012). The policy game: Understanding U.S. public policy making. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. SOC 320: Public Policy & Social Services Essay.