Federalism in US Healthcare

The executive branch, which is both accountable and objective, contributes significantly to the formation of health care policies in the United States. The branch has many agencies that bring a lot of expertise and knowledge of both social and health policies, hence ensuring the significant capability for comprehensive, accountable, and impartial assessments of the health care policies. Over the years, the executive branch has played different roles, which have influenced and even changed the state of women’s health in the US.

The executive branch accesses all data, reasoning, and evidence that are required for the formulation of effective health policies. Such an opportunity grants the executive branch the capacity to obtain substantial information regarding policy and clinical research, public health,  prevention strategies, and financial impacts. Through executive orders, women in the US have been fighting for a new approach and vision concerning women’s wellness, health, and even identity (Koh & Sebelius, 2010). A good example of such executive orders is Executive Order 13506, signed by former President Obama in 2009. According to Treuthart (2016), the order mentioned above was purposed to ensure proper coordination in responding to issues that affect the lives of girls and women.

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Today, the status of women’s health across the nation has shown some remarkable improvements as women receive the adequate support of the executive branch in implementing a better or more holistic approach to health care compared to the previous times. For example, through the approval of emergency contraception (commonly known as “the morning-after pill”) and female condoms, among others, reproductive issues are now considered necessary. Additionally, the executive branch now explores closely and keenly the role of culture, socio-economic status, and race on the women’s access to quality care and accurate information. Moreover, through the executive branch, women continue to advocate for critical changes in the way healthcare is delivered in the US including the promotion of midwifery and out-of-hospital-birth centers (Obama, 2016).

While all the branches of government contribute to the formation of health care policies, the legislative one should have the largest role in women’s health care, and such a role should be given to the federal government. Just like the executive branch, the legislature is publicly accountable and impartial – it can gather adequate information from various objective sources. National Institutes of Health (US) (1999) postulate that the legislature has a mandate in promoting and protecting the health of the members of the public. Further, the legislative branch can establish bodies that are meant to collect and analyze the data for the development of sound policies regarding women’s health if provided with resources. On the level of government, the federal government should have the largest role in women’s health care to ensure that women across the US receive essentially the same health care. Additionally, the enforcement of the policies regarding women’s health care is a serious concern that requires adequate resources, which can only be provided by the federal government (Palley & Palley, 2014).

In conclusion, the executive branch continues to play key roles in improving women’s health care in the US by ensuring public accountability and impartiality. The branch promotes access to full data and more holistic models or approaches to women’s health care. Today, executive orders allow women to access health education and information, hence can fight for better health policies and changes that improve women’s health in society. However, the largest role should be given to the legislative branch under the federal government, which publicly participates in the formation of policies in matters of healthcare among other issues.



Koh, H. K., & Sebelius, K. G. (2010). Promoting prevention through the affordable care act. New            England Journal of Medicine363(14), 1296-1299.

National Institutes of Health (U.S.). (1999). Agenda for research on women’s health for the 21st century: A report of the task force on the NIH women’s health research agenda for the 21st century. http://www.britecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Psychological-Differences-Between-Men-and-Women-Implications-for-a-Research-Agenda-on-Womens-Physical-and-Mental-Health.pdf.

Obama, B. (2016). United States health care reform: Progress to date and next steps. Jama316(5), 525-532.

Palley, M. L. (2014). The politics of women’s health care in the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US.

Treuthart, M. P. (2016). Feminist-in-chief-examining President Obama’s executive orders on women’s rights issues. Chi.-Kent L. Rev.91, 171.