What are the roles of the federal government and state governments in the policymaking
process? Describe the role of committees, and analyze similarities and differences between
these roles. How does the composition of congress and state legislatures influence the
creation of public health policy? Use a specific example to demonstrate your point.
Policymaking is a shared responsibility between the state and the federal levels of
governments. State governments through the legislatures are responsible for passing laws
relating to their jurisdiction areas while ensuring they are in line with national legislations. State
governors and executive members formulate policies and guidelines for promoting adherence to
particular state statutes that guide their practice (Pollack Porter et al., 2018). Elsewhere, the
federal government through the legislative branch has an express mandate to formulate policies
that direct state statutes in making up their laws. Through the senate the federal government
enhances the execution of national responsibilities including the collection of taxes and revenues,
instituting federal courts for adjudicating on matters of national interests.
Moreover, the House and Senate standing committees at the state and federal levels are
critical in the policymaking process in promoting congruence relating to the divergent views.
Both state and federal committees enhance the education of stakeholders on pertinent policy
issues while lobbying for the implementation of state and federal ideologies (Béland & Howlett,
2016). However, a major difference arises in the nature of their decisions towards initiating and
sustaining the policymaking process. While state committees commence the policymaking
process at the state level involving cabinet members, the federal committees involve the Senate
POLICYMAKING PROCESS 2
members with various subcommittees taking up a role in determining impacts on the lower-level
decision-making initiatives. Again, while state committees focus on a grassroots approach, the
federal committees take up a nationwide approach across the US in the policy-making process.
Besides, the structure of congress and state legislatures affects healthcare policymaking.
First, the Congress’ legislative responsibility only involves persuading states to adopt various
statutory laws (Béland & Howlett, 2016). The composition of the Congress in the public health
policymaking comprises of the advocacy for countrywide standards for improving people’s
health while drawing the needs of various populations. However, at the composition of the state
legislature involves the state agencies and authorities who have a direct link to the popular
initiatives (Hunter, 2016). For example, states make policies and regulate health policy matters
including provider authorization and approvals, and specific health insurance aspects across
states while the federal government oversees national health policy matters.
POLICYMAKING PROCESS 3
Béland, D., & Howlett, M. (2016). How solutions chase problems: Instrument constituencies in
the policy process. Governance, 29(3), 393-409.
Hunter E. L. (2016). Politics and Public Health-Engaging the Third Rail. Journal of public health
management and practice: JPHMP, 22(5), 436–441.
Pollack Porter, K. M., Rutkow, L., & McGinty, E. E. (2018). The importance of policy change
for addressing public health problems. Public Health Reports, 133(1_suppl), 9S-