State Level Health Policy

Identify a specific public health policy at the state level. Federal policies such as the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, or Social Security, etc. are not appropriate for this assignment. You can find state-level policies by visiting the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) website and searching the 50-State Searchable Bill Tracking Database by topic for enacted policies, or visiting your state legislature website. You will then search for statutes or policies in that state.

This assignment has two parts: A diagram/flowchart and a narrative.

Diagram or Flowchart

Visually illustrate how your chosen health policy became law. The flow chart should include a historical timeline from the introduction of the policy to its implementation. You can use a diagram or flowchart development tools available through Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, or Excel.

Narrative

Develop a short narrative (500-750 words) that describes the expected effects of the health care policy on specific health outcomes. Describe how this policy influences community and individual health. Is the state policy new or not yet implemented? Explain the intended impact of this policy. If the policy has been implemented, describe its impact.

State Level Health Policy

Hexagon: 2004- First introduction of a version of the Bill The Healthy Families Act H.R. 1784; S. 840- 116th Congress

Narrative

           Over the years, the issue over paid sick days among the American workforce has been a relatively controversial matter that has drawn the attention of various policymakers. The leaders from different states and communities have made numerous attempts aimed at ensuring that the employees get at least an hour off work of every 30 hours accumulated. Ultimately, the paid sick-time would accumulate to approximately 56 hours or seven days annually (Polzer, 2019). Although the Healthy Families Act has not been enacted across the nation yet, several states have adopted the policy in their legislature following extensive evidence that highlights its benefits. On the one hand, the adoption of paid time off work policy is associated with advantages that include the reduction of turnover, an increment in productivity, and the mitigation as well as minimization of spreading toxic conditions at the work environment.

           The occurrence of illnesses can impact an entire family, and approximately 40% of the workforce in the private sector that lack paid sick leave would experience such an acute strain firsthand. As a result, millions of more workers across the nation lack paid sick leave that can be used to take care of their illnesses or for their loved ones (Polzer, 2019). However, the inadequacy in this area is based on ideologies propagated by opponents of paid sick leave who assert that offering paid sick leave to employees should be carried out discretely. These arguments are based on the belief that employers have a better understanding of the benefit preference of their workers and should thus focus on maintaining the flexibility that meets their unique needs. Consequently, workers in the United States are denied time off work for short-term or severe conditions based on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As such, the FMLA law requires employers with at least 50 employees working within a radius of 75 miles to comply by covering the individuals who have worked for 12 months before taking their leave (Library of Congress, 2019).

Influence of the Policy on the Community and Individual Health

           According to the Library of Congress (2019), these factors led to President Barrack Obama advocating for the enactment and implementation of the Healthy Families Act in January 2015 as it would allow workers to get time off and take care of personal health issues or attend to the needs of their loved ones. Moreover, the proposed bill would lead to application across employers or organizations with more than 15 employees as stipulated by the Fair labor Standards Act. Nonetheless, if implemented, the law would allow employees to use their sick leave for absence brought on by occurrences such as a physical or mental illness, injuries, or medical conditions. Additionally, employees would have access to paid sick leave for absences that emanate from the pursuit of professional medical diagnosis or preventive medical care (Library of Congress, 2019). These may be coupled with absence related to the intention of taking care of a child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or relative. Similarly, these privileges may be extended to employees who seek absence from work due to incidents such as domestic violence, sexual assault at work or at home, or perpetrators stalking them.

           Although the state policy has not been implemented yet, it is not new to the United States as numerous attempts have been made since its first introduction in 2004. However, different states across the nations have implemented various versions of the policy in the legislature with the intent to boost productivity among their workforce and, ultimately, the welfare of the people (Polzer, 2019). More precisely, the intended impact behind the Healthy Families Act entails making it illegal for employers to interfere with or deny, as well as restrain their employees from exercising their right to accrue sick leave as stipulated by the bill. It thus seeks to provide the employees across the nation with a platform that allows them to take legal action aimed at enforcing their right to paid sick leave as granted by the bill. As a result, complaints filed against employers who violate these provisions will lead to the involvement of the Department of Labor to conduct investigations on the terms and compliance with the regulation (Library of Congress, 2019). However, if the employees on sick leave extend their time off work, he/she is required to provide certification for the extended period. It is, therefore, imperative that organizations restructure their current policies in meeting the minimums sets forth in the bill before it is implemented into law.

References

Library of Congress. (2019, March 14). S.840 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Healthy Families Act.

Polzer, K. (2019, January 3). All Workers Should Have A Few Paid Sick Days. The President And Congress Can Make It Happen/

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