The Process by Which Topics Become Public Policies

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How a Topic Becomes a Policy by for Summer 2013 In the United States, the process by which topics become public policy are the topics of animated cartoons for children (i.e., Schoolhouse Rock!'s "I'm just a bill"), but far less known is the specific process by which healthcare topics go on to become formal policies. Because every healthcare policy has the potential to affect all American healthcare consumers, it is important to understand the process by which a topic eventually becomes a policy. To this end, this paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning the three stages by which topics become long-term policies in healthcare, followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning these issues in the conclusion. Review and Discussion Although every policymaking process will be unique in some fashion, the overall process has some common features that apply to every policymaking situation in the United States. In this regard, Abood (2007) reports that the term "policy process" is used to describe the entire set of events and specific decisions that are needed in order for policies to be proposed, considered, and ultimately implemented or rejected. An important feature of the policymaking process in the United States, especially as it applies to long-term care policies, is that it is an iterative process rather than a linear one, and there are a number of opportunities policymakers and stakeholders to
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