Representative Michael McCaul is a republican currently serving in the 10th district of Texas state which includes Hempstead and Bellville (Congressman Michael McCaul, 2011a). He has served in the same position since the year 2000. As a public figure, his political and leadership record are outstanding especially on matters related to public policy such as border security, employment, welfare and poverty. Recently, his stand on healthcare policy reforms was perceived to be remarkable by the general public (Congressman Michael McCaul, 2011a).
McCaul in collaboration with other republicans was openly opposed to the then proposed health care reforms in the United States. His argument was that if implemented, the reforms would distance doctors’ from their patients since it would affect the provision of quality health care (McCaul, 2009). The Republican wing came up with an alternative plan that would replace the proposed health care reforms policy. They claimed that the proposed reform was likely to force Americans to adopt government-run–health care plans and consequently abandon their employers’ healthcare plans (Congressman Michael McCaul, 2011b). They wanted the reforms to be adjusted accordingly so that Americans would have the freedom to choose a health care plan that best suited their needs while at the same time leaving medical decisions in the hands of patients, doctors and other non-governmental practitioners. According to Turner and Antos (2009), the proposal by McCaul that people will lose medical coverage is lame since Obama earlier asserted that Americans lose their health care coverage every single day due to a myriad of reasons. The reforms will also ensure that the average American enjoys health care regardless of employment or incapacitation status. In addition, the plan does not require an individual or employer to change the coverage plan. On the same note, it does not influence doctors’ choices (Turner & Antos, 2009).
The stand was taken by McCaul on health care reforms, if successful, would have negatively impacted the nursing fraternity. The reform bill which was endorsed by lawmakers and signed into law by President Obama in March 2010 will definitely inject benefits to the nursing fraternity, primary care physicians as well as healthcare workforce. Routson (2010) argues that nurse practitioners will greatly benefit from the program since the nurse-managed health centers have been taken into account in the entire reform. These centers are run by advanced nurses and will offer services to some of the most vulnerable segments of the population. The primary care physicians will equally receive increased medical aid for every service offered (Routson, 2010). The health care program would also expand the healthcare workforce through the provision of training programs to address shortages. In order to attain success in the healthcare workforce, the proposed plan has an allocation for funds to be used in providing full scholarships and loans programs for primary care physicians, nurses, mental health providers, dentists and physician assistants. The comprehensive approach outlined in the reform focuses on retention and enhancement of educational opportunities so as to combat the shortage of the nursing fraternity workforce (Routson, 2010).
Michael McCaul has been regarded as both conservative and regressive on matters of public policy (Routson, 2010). Whenever he is opposed to a particular policy, he gathers his fellow republicans who support opposition to devise an alternative to the proposed policies. A similar strategy was used to oppose the healthcare reforms policy (McCaul, 2009). He together with his colleagues analyzed the proposed critically and came up with what they called the republican alternative plan. Their alternate plan proposed core reforms are directed towards ensuring Americans had unlimited access to healthcare regardless of their preexisting conditions or affordability (McCaul, 2009). In his statement after the passing of the bill, he added that the move was likely to punish individuals, families and businesses and kill jobs in the healthcare sector (Congressman Michael McCaul, 2010c).
To recap, McCaul’s stance on healthcare reforms public policy was ill-timed. As usual, he used the power of media and lobbying to oppose reforms. However, his efforts did not yield much. His alternate plan was ill-informed as it failed to capture the benefits that the proposed reforms would bring to the nursing sector.
Congressman Michael McCaul (2011a). Biography of Congressman Michael T. McCaul. Web.
Congressman Michael McCaul (2011b). House Republicans’ Alternative Bill. Web.