The upcoming 2018 elections that will take place in the United States on November 6, are likely to lead to an impressive change in a range of domains, including not only economy and politics but also the healthcare setting (Lurie). In light of the changes that the identified fields will experience, it is necessary to consider some of the most problematic issues in the contemporary healthcare environment. Since the opioid crisis has been an area for statewide concern over the past few decades, and Democrats and Republicans have been notoriously known for their polarizing opinions on the ways of resolving the issue, it could be argued that the recent surge in negative patient outcomes will lead to the necessity to collaborate.
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According to recent polls and analysis of the pre-election situation, there is a strong possibility of Democrats getting the majority of votes in the upcoming elections (Reid). Therefore, it can be assumed that the current prevalence of Republicans in the American government and, therefore, the dominance of their ideas over the ones proposed by Democrats will finally be balanced out with the introduction of alternative views. Consequently, by promoting coherent and significant party behavior, one will be able to challenge Democrats and Republicans into collaborating and contributing to the resolution of the opioid crisis.
At this point, however, one must mention that the concept of a significant party behavior requires further clarifications. To address the phenomenon, one may need to apply different approaches. As Krehbiel stresses, there is a methodological way of exploring the dilemma, which implies identifying the evidence that helps deem a party’s behavior as significant (236). Moreover, the problem needs to be explored from a conceptual perspective, i.e., the identification of significance as a notion (Krehbiel 236). The empirical perspective from which the subject matter is reviewed should also be incorporated into the analysis since it sheds light on the application of suggested changes and the management of obstacles that may stand in the way. Based on the analysis carried out by Krehbiel with the help of the suggested tool, there is very little variation in the choices made by the representatives of the government regarding the issue of the opioid crisis (237). Thus, a powerful impetus for encouraging change must be provided.
It should also be borne in mind, however, that the future elections may contribute to even greater confusion about the management of the opioid crisis. At present, there has been a significant number of disputes regarding the ways in which the opioid crisis needs to be managed, which has nearly split the community (Reid). The possibility of disparities in the Congress, thus, should be deemed as one of the primary areas of concern as far as the management of the opioid crisis is concerned. The specified issue is likely to pose a significant threat to the overall management of the opioid crisis since it will lead to the clash of interests of the parties involved. The identified issue can be regarded as one of the primary weaknesses of the Congress (Kosar).
Furthermore, there is a threat that, with the enhancement of the confrontation within the government, citizens of the United States will not be able to affect the decisions made by the state government. According to Canes-Wrone, there is a strong possibility that, by advancing the discord between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of the opioid crisis, one will inevitably face the development of obstacles for American citizens to influence the process of policymaking (3).
It should be noted, however, that a range of tools for addressing the identified problems in handling the communication between Democrats and Republicans have been introduced (Lurie). A recent change in the communication patterns of the two and the propensity toward cooperation can be regarded as a crucial step in advancing the management of the opioid crisis. The “International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act” will enable Customs and Border Patrol to detect the presence of fentanyl and its derivative, thus, reducing the threat of patients developing a chemical dependency on the specified substance (Lurie). The suggested strategy can be viewed as a representation of a compromise between Republicans and Democrats regarding their suggestions about managing the opioid crisis. Therefore, it could be argued that the victory of Democrats in the 2018 elections must lead to a demise of the opioid crisis
Means of Addressing Future Issues
Without a framework for coordinating the actions of the Republican and the Democrat Parties to attain a common goal, the management of the opioid crisis is doomed to failure. Therefore, the current changes made to the political environment of the United States must be geared toward encouraging the active communication and transparency. Thus, opportunities for collaborating to produce the best possible solution and reduce the death toll, at the same time offering a viable solution, will become a possibility (Howell and Moe 146).
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The lack of concord among the members of political parties, in turn, may be used to influence the current situation and produce the outcomes that will affect a range of citizens negatively. To be more accurate, there is a threat of lobbyists representing pharmaceutical organizations and other stakeholders to influence the decisions made on the governmental level. The identified issue can and must be addressed by the President: “Presidents, more than anyone, provide a corrective to this state of affairs” (Howell and Moe 147). Thus, it is crucial to ensure that the president supports collaboration between Democrats and Republicans, thus, contributing to the resolution of the problem.
However, because of the recent decisions made by President Trump regarding the management of the issue, handling the opioid crisis in the United States by means of bringing Republicans and Democrats together might be a difficult task to accomplish. According to recent reports, Trump administration’s response to the opioid crisis and the questions raised by the concerned population have been notoriously controversial: “The president’s comments were a significant departure from the discussions at the summit prior to his arrival, which had focused largely on expanding access treatment and eliminating the “stigma” around opioid addiction” (Mallin). Therefore, it is essential to create the environment in which multiple opinions on the subject matter can be presented, and where all stakeholders could participate in a dialogue. As a result, the solution that will address the needs of all participants involved can be produced. Furthermore, confrontations between Republicans and Democrats will be addressed, which will lead to faster and more efficient decision-making on the subject of the opioid crisis.
Even though the problem of the opioid crisis has sparked numerous conflicts among the members of the Democrat and the republican parties and has been used as the means of advancing a political agenda, it could be argued that the rise in death toll will finally make both sides cooperate. Particularly, tools for handling some of the most controversial aspects of the contemporary opioid drug policies may be introduced after the elections and the subsequent shift in the balance of powers. As soon as both Democrats and Republicans reconcile with their differences and refrain from confrontations, opportunities for addressing the opioid crisis in the United States will be open.
Since the future elections seem to result in the victory of Democrats, it can be assumed that the specified change will cause a gradual drop in the levels of the opioid crisis in the United States. Because of the lack of agreement regarding the choice of the strategies that can be used to handle the crisis, Democrats and Republicans’ previous choices concerning the management of the problem have been inefficient so far. With the introduction of the principles of cooperation into the environment of the Congress, the 2018 elections, which are likely to lead to the victory of Democrats, may, in fact, contribute to the resolution of the issue. The focus on collaboration will ultimately affect the way in which the issue is viewed, as well as on the manner in which decisions are taken in the Congress. As a result, the needs of vulnerable populations are expected to be met after the 2018 elections. With a greater emphasis on the importance of communication and compromises, as well as meeting the needs of diverse populations, the U.S. government will be able to handle the opioid crisis.
Canes-Wrone, Brandice. Who Leads Whom? University of Chicago Press, 2006.
Howell, William G., and Terry M. Moe. Relic. How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government. Basic Books, 2016.
Kosar, Kevin. R. “How to Strengthen Congress.” National Affairs, fall 2015, www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/how-to-strengthen-congress. Accessed 12 Apr. 2018.
Krehbiel, Keith. “Where’s the Party?” British Journal of Political Science, vol. 23, no. 2, 1993, pp. 235-266.
Lurie, Julia. “Democrats and Republicans Just Worked Together (!) to Make Progress on the Opioid Epidemic.” Mother Jones. 2018, Web.
Mallin, Alexander. “Despite Gains, Trump Administration Response to Opioid Crisis Still Faces Criticism.” ABC News. 2018, Web.
Reid, John. “Voters Split Over Trump’s Response to U.S. Opioid Epidemic.” Morning Consult. 2018, Web.