Case Study Synopsis
This paper argues why San Francisco has an obligation of providing its citizens with health access. As such, this paper will focus on the role of the government in the regulation of healthy and unhealthy behavior. In addition, the government’s responsibility in the provision of healthcare and welfare to its citizens and the right for personal freedoms will be discussed as to whether there should be a balance.
The city council, the county government or the federal government has a responsibility of ensuring that health care is accessible to citizens (Shannon, 2004). In this regard, San Francisco, which has a city council and as a part of the county government is, therefore, obliged to ensure that citizens have access to healthcare facilities and services. As such, the statement made by San Francisco mayor that states that all business organizations that operate within San Francisco should contribute towards improving access to healthcare is a legal and brilliant idea and, thus, very welcomed.
A society that is healthy creates business environments that are attractive for investors. As such, if the business organizations operating within san Francisco agrees to the statement of the mayor seeking to have businesses contribute to healthcare, this will result in flourishing of the same businesses. Businesses will seek to create many modern healthcare centers improving access and quality of care, which as a result, creates a healthier population. a healthy population resulting from these improvements in healthcare standards increases citizen’s participation in business which consequently leads to increased customer value. In addition, these businesses will be giving back to the society by this contribution which is part of their corporate social responsibility. This is important as businesses need to contribute to the welfare of the society it operates. Businesses can effectively bring change through these corporate social responsibility efforts through creation of social amenities that provide benefits to all sectors of the population without regard to race, age, social status, marital status, and other discriminatory forms.
According to Patel & Rushefsky, (1999) the federal government has laws and regulations that citizens are expected to observe at all times. Therefore, it has a role of regulating healthy and unhealthy behaviors of its citizens. They add that governments seek to protect its citizens by making businesses operating within a given environment provide part of their revenues to be used for the provision of public amenities and services such the development of health centers and provision of healthcare services. However, some businesses at times contribute to the pollution of the environment which may have negative effects on the inhabitants of those places. In this regard, the government has a responsibility of sometimes banning such businesses from operation or selling them pollution permits but only if such pollution does not have negative effects on people and the externality cannot be contained. In addition, the government may consider forcing some of these businesses to provide healthcare insurance to the inhabitants around the polluted environments to ensure compensation incase such pollution causes health problems.
Governments also seek to always promote healthy behavior in businesses by giving grants or providing subsidies to businesses that have a positive impact on the environment through production of environmentally friendly products and practices. Similarly, the government promotes businesses that seek to improve the living standards of the people living in the environment they operate. Businesses that play a role in ensuring that all citizens realize access to quality healthcare and ensuring a clean and improved environment free from pollutions are, thus supported by the government. The government, therefore, has a main role involving in itself in business activities through regulation of healthy and unhealthy behaviors and providing a base where businesses operate without harming people and the environment and reducing the harmful effects of pollution to the highest degree possible (Harrington, 2004).
The responsibility of the government to provide accessible healthcare and welfare to its citizens should always balanced with the personal responsibility. As such, business owners should be allowed the right to decide whether to support in the provision of healthcare or not. The government should push them into paying back to the society like required by the mayor of San Francisco. On the contrary, they should be given the freedom to decide whether to actualize their corporate social responsibility or not. In addition, the government should only seek to motivate them by rewarding those who engage in corporate social responsibility activities through stimulating subsidies, tax incentives, grants and awards. This is because the government must be fully responsible for the welfare and healthcare of its citizen’s whether supported by the corporate sector within the country or not.
In addition, it is the responsibility of the government to establish policies, and modalities for the efficient provision of public goods and services. This includes providing accessible and quality healthcare to its citizens without expecting support from businesses that are for-profits. Mason et al, (2014) assert that the decision to support or not to support welfare programs in the society should be left to business organizations to decide for themselves. Furthermore, they point out that the government should only be involved in creating laws regulations and policies that encourage, sustain, and improve situations in healthcare that are contributed by for profit organizations. This, according to them, is the primary goal of the government. Punitive actions taken against businesses should only be used when there are clear widespread violations of healthcare standards and laws which cause mortalities within the population. In addition, the government should provide financial support to businesses that understand that the health of consumers makes their businesses flourish as a result of their frequent purchase of goods and services.
Thus, business organizations including should consider engaging in corporate social responsibility in the form of contribution of funds to support causes in improvement of access to quality healthcare and as a result, promote the well being of returning customers. Governments should not force business organizations into giving back to the community but encourage them to support worthy causes on their own. Those that choose to contribute should also be given awards which may result in financial asset rewards. If this habit is cultivated, it will cause a gradual shift to a new culture which smart businesses enjoy profits while adding value to the society. Governments should also ensure that healthy and unhealthy behaviors are regulated in business environments.
Harrington, C. (2004). Health policy: Crisis and reform in the U.S. health care delivery system. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Mason, D. J., Leavitt, J. K., & Chaffee, M. W. (2014). Policy & politics in nursing and health care.
Patel, K., &Rushefsky, M. E. (1999). Health care politics and policy in America. Armonk, NY [u.a.: M.E. Sharpe.
Shannon, T. A. (2004). Health care policy: A reader. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.