Welcome to Week 5! Let us begin this week by reviewing some definitions. What exactly are statutes and regulations?; and how do they link in with the policymaking process, especially regarding Death with Dignity?
Statues and Regulations
Statutes are written laws made by legislators on a federal or state level (Georgetown Law, 2014).
Regulations are the force of the law that governs; and an explanation on how a governing agency intends to carry out laws (Kraft and Furlong, 2014; USA.gov, 2015).
How Does This Relate to Policymaking?
Let’s simplify this some more by giving a recent example. For instance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by Congress; and signed into law (a statute) by President Barack Obama in 2010. With the passing of the ACA how does Congress have the time to enforce the new law? Truth is, after a law is passed there are agencies, boards, or commissions assigned to help with the rulemaking process. During this process, rules are created and with the help of public feedback, the rules are either changed, added, or kept; and then final rules are registered with the Federal Register (USA.gov, 2015). One regulatory agency for the ACA was the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), which assisted with implementing many of the provisions of the ACA that dealt with private health insurance (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, n.d.).
How Does This Apply to Our Death with Dignity Discussion?
As mentioned in previous posts, Arizona currently does not have any aid in dying laws on the horizon; and the federal government has told states to make their own statutes regarding aid in dying. So who helps with regulation process once an aid in dying law passes?
Let’s look at the state of Oregon, the Death with Dignity statue was initiated in 1997. Within the Death with Dignity Act (1997), it required the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to be involved in the regulation process. For instance, the OHA collects all patient and physician information; mandates certain reporting practices, and publishes yearly statistical reports (Oregon Health Authority, (n.d.).
Here is the link to the most recent Death with Dignity Statute in Oregon; and Death with Dignity Rules:
This week we talked about statutes and regulations. The policymaking and implementation process does appear to have its good points. I especially like the fact that during the regulatory process the public can voice opinions. But what do you think?
Please join me next week when we discuss how the public sector influences healthcare policy (especially in regards to aid in dying).
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (n.d.). Consumer information and insurance oversight: Ensuring the Affordable Care Act serves the American people. Retrieved from http://www.cms.gov/cciio/
Georgetown Law (n.d.). Overview of administrative law. Retrieved from https://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/research/tutorials/admin/upload/1_overview_text.pdf
Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S.R. (2015). Public policy: Politics, analysis, and alternatives (4th edition). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Oregon Health Authority (n.d.). Public health’s role. Retrieved from http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Pages/ohdrole.aspx
Oregon Health Authority (n.d.). Rules and regulations. Retrieved from https://public.health.oregon.gov/RulesRegulations/Pages/index.aspx
USA.gov (2015). Laws and regulations. Retrieved from http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Reference-Shelf/Laws.shtml