September 22, 2014
The Policy Process: Formulation, Legislation and Implementation
Kia Carter Anderson
Mental health issues have been a problem since the 16th century in the when many people may have been the victims of witch-hunts. Most mentally ill people or those who were judged insane were sent to work in workhouses, poorhouses, and jails. Forced confinements and restraints were used on those who people though were dangerously disturbed or could be violent to themselves, otherâ€™s or otherâ€™s property. Eventually, madhouses were created where mental ill people were housed and treated harshly but were seen as being therapeutic and ...view middle of the document...
Mental Health America is one of the biggest leaders in mental health policy and advocacy. This interest group helped pass the Mental Health Parity law and monitoring implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The process of policy formulation includes creating proposals, debating the information and making several drafts for the bill. If the policy is unclear or unacceptable, the writers will make revisions to outline all necessary details. The policy should identify its goals and outcomes as well as any related activities. Additional steps may include attempting to plan for any obstacles toward the wanted outcome, and identifying any progress measurements, budget needs, and necessary resources. After the policy formation, the document is ready for the legislative phase.
There are twelve steps in formulation a mental health policy:
1. Asses the populations needs
7. Identify major roles and responsibilities of different sectors
2. Gather evidence for effective strategies
8. Determine the strategies and time frames
3. Consultation and negotiation
9. Set indicators and targets
4. Exchange with other countries
10. Determine major activities
5. Set out the vision, values, principles and objectives of the policy
11. Determine the cost, the available resources and the budget
6. Determine areas of action
12. Set up monitoring and evaluation processes
("Mental Health Policy, Planning & Service Development", 2014).
The official legislative process beginning when the bill is numbered, -H.R designates it a House bill and S a Senate bill, and then referred to a committee which is then printed by the Government Printing Office. ("Introduction to the Legislative and Regulatory Process", n.d.). Once the bill has its number it then goes to a standing committee. The Committeeâ€™s Chair who can delay, block, or expedite action on the measure. The Committeeâ€™s duties include drafting the legislation and advising and counseling Committee Members and writing the report to the legislature. After the bill reaches the committee, it is put on the calendar. From here the committee can either consider the bill themselves or they can refer the bill to a subcommittee. Through the committee and subcommittee decisions about the content and language of the bill are made. The subcommittee can call for a hearing where the bill will be examined section by section, to make changes before the bill goes back to the main committee. â€œHearings provide the opportunity to put on the record the views of the executive branch, experts, other public officials, supporters and opponents of the legislation. Testimony can be given in person or submitted as a written statement.â€ ("Introduction to the Legislative and Regulatory Process", n.d.). After the bill the subcommitteeâ€™s report, the full committee then votes on the recommendations before sending it to either the House or...