BENCHMARK- POLICY BRIEF NRS 428
People’s productivity depends on their health statuses, and it is crucial to keep health at an optimal level always. Disappointingly, many problems hampering care provision at the global, state, and community levels make it challenging to achieve the optimization required. For instance, the world’s global warming level keeps on rising, risking the populace’s health. Due to the far-reaching effects of such problems, public health policies usually play a fundamental role in controlling the magnitude of damage and remedy situations. The declining state of air quality in California due to pollution is a worrying issue that can be remedied through policy interventions.
Policy Health Issue: Description
The respiratory system functions at the best level required when people breathe fresh air. Despite this general fact, not many people are guaranteed quality air as pollution levels increase progressively. As highlighted in the American Public Health Association (APHA) website, climate change over the years has been increasing ground-level ozone and other types of air pollution, and the state of California is among the most affected. Frankly, the entire population is affected, but the damage is more severe among older people due to their low immunity levels (Simoni et al., 2015; Chen et al., 2015). They appear the most affected since the direct consequences of air pollution such as air toxics and particulate matter increase their hospitalization and infection with asthma and bronchitis. California has eight out of the ten most polluted cities in the United States (American Lung Association, 2020). This figure implies that the problem is critical in California, and more interventions to supplement the current frameworks are crucial.
The environment plays an instrumental role in keeping people healthy. Food production and quality of air depend, to a large extent, on the climatic patterns. When climate change is unfavorable, the entire population faces considerable risks, which typifies what has been happening in California. According to Cart (2020), air pollution has been worsening over time; its severity can be confirmed because staying at home during the Covid-19 pandemic has not decreased it to the level required in any notable way. Emissions that increase the danger have been increasing over time too. Sommer et al. (2020) noted that emissions, combined with hot and stagnant weather, make air pollution hit dangerous levels, particularly in the summer, leading to a scenario where California does not comply with federal air standards. Such situations need robust policies to remedy.
The current situation and notable efforts show that there has been an effort to reduce air toxicity in California, but there is a lot to be done. The extent of danger is greater than the control measures. For instance, pollution reductions under the Clean Air Act have prevented approximately 205,000 premature deaths (Revesz & Lienke, 2016). However, the general objective of policies and supplementary laws should be to accomplish a state where every population segment is safe. Policies should further protect the most vulnerable, which does not happen in California.
The Current Policy: Breathing Fresh Act of California
From a general viewpoint, this policy is anchored on the idea principle that a policy should define a vision for the future. The Breathing Fresh Act follows a similar concept with the Clean Air Act but improves when it comes to reviewing. Unlike requiring the state to review its environmental protection guidelines after eight years like the Clean Air Act, the Breathing Fresh Act will obligate the state to review its rules every three years. Furthermore, all organizations should have elaborate social responsibility programs centered on environmental protection while concentrating on making the air free from pollution.
Initiating this policy follows the general procedure of policymaking. The first step is identifying the need, which has already been done. The damaging effect of toxic air should be minimized to health-friendly levels. The second step is delegating responsibility. A team should work on it to develop ways in which the authorities will be reached and informed. After that, a draft policy will be composed, followed by consultation with appropriate stakeholders. Here, the target stakeholders are the politicians and other government officials, particularly the Senator, who can sponsor the recommendations as a bill. The main budgetary consideration to make is how to print copies of the act and distribute it to influential individuals at the community level.
Impact on the Health Care Delivery System
Health care provision is centered on a patient-centered practice that prioritizes quality. In agreement with Bhatt and Bathija (2018), one way of ensuring that people get quality care is by reducing infections as much as possible and protecting the vulnerable populations with more resources. Health care providers should never be overburdened too. Implementing the Breath Fresh Act implies that the California health care fraternity and the government are committed to reducing respiratory infections in the state. Doing so will keep everyone safe from such infections and ensure that the state’s productivity does not decline as industrialization that increases air pollution grows at all levels.
Admittedly, no state can guarantee its people total protection from illnesses. Challenges must emerge often, and environmental damage has been a leading source of public health problems. In California, air quality has been declining due to continuous pollution, causing diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. The proposed policy recognizes the need for practical and long-lasting solutions to such problems. It is hoped to make a massive impact on keeping people productive at the community, state, and national levels.
American Lung Association. (2020, Apr 21). Nearly half of US breathing unhealthy air; record-breaking air pollution in nine cities. Eureka Alert!. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-04/ala-nho041720.php
Bhatt, J., & Bathija, P. (2018). Ensuring access to quality health care in vulnerable communities. Academic Medicine, 93(9), 1271-1275. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002254
Cart, J. (2020, Apr 12). As Californians stay at home, air quality improves – for now. Cal Matters. https://calmatters.org/health/2020/04/as-californians-stay-at-home-air-quality-improves-for-now/
Chen, Z., Salam, M. T., Eckel, S. P., Breton, C. V., & Gilliland, F. D. (2015). Chronic effects of air pollution on respiratory health in Southern California children: findings from the Southern California Children’s Health Study. Journal of thoracic disease, 7(1), 46–58. https://doi.org/10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.12.20
Revesz, R. L., & Lienke, J. (2016). Struggling for air: Power plants and the “war on coal”. Oxford University Press.
Simoni, M., Baldacci, S., Maio, S., Cerrai, S., Sarno, G., & Viegi, G. (2015). Adverse effects of outdoor pollution in the elderly. Journal of thoracic disease, 7(1), 34–45. https://doi.org/10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.12.10
Sommer, L., Hersher, R., Jingnan, H., & Beniscasa, R. (2020, May 19). Traffic Is Way Down Because Of Lockdown, But Air Pollution? Not So Much. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/05/19/854760999/traffic-is-way-down-due-to-lockdowns-but-air-pollution-not-so-much
Research public health issues on the “Climate Change” or “Topics and Issues” pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population.
Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.
Follow this outline when writing the policy brief:
- Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources.
- Create a problem statement.
- Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable.
- Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.
Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Course Resources if you need assistance.