The Health Plans of the United States Government


Healthy people encompass a National agenda that constitutes the goals of achieving improvements in the healthcare sector, as well as achievements of equity in healthcare. The agenda comprises several objectives, which can be regarded as measurable and having targets that the United States government wishes to achieve over the decade. The department of health and human services in the United States came up with the agenda of ‘healthy people 2010’ in the year 2000. The agenda entailed the health plans of the United States government for the decade spanning from 2000 to 2010. The same department launched the healthy people 2020 agenda aimed at achieving certain healthcare goals by the year 2020. Launched in December 2010, ‘healthy people 2020’ comprises more than 1200 health objectives to be achieved by the year 2020 (Olsen, 2011).

Healthy people 2010

About Healthy People 2010

Healthy people 2010 policy details an agenda of the federal government whose aim is to prevent diseases and promote nationwide health in the United States. The agenda points out the most notable health threats that can be prevented in the 21st century. In addition, the agenda comes up with national goals that can be of significant importance in reducing health threats in the 21st century. There are about 467 objectives contained in Healthy People 2010. The objectives act as frameworks for the improvement and the realization of health outcomes of all United States citizens in the 21st century. The health objectives to be realized under healthy people 2010 mainly encompass health outcomes during the first decade of the 21st century (Olsen, 2011).

Goals of Healthy People 2010

There are two main goals, which the agenda of healthy people 2010 seeks to achieve. One of the goals includes the enhancement of the quality of life and life expectancy. The other goal is the elimination of health disparities between various segments of the population. This includes health disparities in race, ethnicity, gender, education, disability, education, sexual orientation, as well as residence. The goal of healthy people 2010 to see the elimination of health disparities can be regarded as having resulted in some targets that can be considered as realistic. This emanates from the fact that this goal came up with objectives that can be influenced by lifestyle choices in the short term (Olsen, 2011).

Features of Healthy People 2010

There are several features of healthy people 2010, which play a key role in the overall objectives of the agenda to achieve a healthy nation. One of the key features encompasses the creation of a strategic framework, which is comprehensive enough to bring together issues related to disease prevention and health promotion. The other key feature of this health agenda is that it calls for the tracking of outcomes, which are driven by data. The main aim of doing so is the need to enhance motivation, as well as monitor the progress. Healthy people 2010 agenda also has a key feature that includes the engagement of stakeholders from multiple disciplines and sectors. A central feature of the agenda also includes guiding program planning, research, and policies that prevent diseases and promote health outcomes (Sondik et al., 2010).

Controversies with the objectives of healthy people 2010

The agenda of healthy people 2010 is not devoid of several controversies, which can be pointed out as hindrances to the achievement of the set objectives. The first controversy is that most of the objectives targeted local as well as state governments, schools, institutions, employers, and healthcare providers among others. Based on this, the role to be played by the federal government is not to be defined clearly. There are also inconsistencies in the main areas of focus, which have led to the complexity in the achievement of the set goals. Another controversy emanates from the diverse scope of the agenda, which means that a lot of resources may be directed at tracking health outcomes, as opposed to activities aiming at enhancing health improvement (Sondik et al., 2010).

Health indicators of healthy people 2010

There are several health indicators, which can be associated with the agenda of healthy people 2010. One of the health indicators included in this agenda is physical activity, which aims at increasing the number of adults engaging in physical activities for a minimum of 30 minutes in a day or more days in a week. This health indicator also encompasses increasing the number of adolescents who take part in physical activity to promote fitness. Another health indicator in healthy people 2010 includes focusing on the issue of obesity and overweight. The objective of this health indicator is to see a decline in the number of adults, adolescents, and children who may be either obese or overweight (Sondik et al., 2010).

Substance use and tobacco use also form part of health indicators included in the agenda of Healthy People 2010. Tobacco use, as a health indicator, is meant to see a reduction in the number of people in the population who use tobacco, especially those who engage in cigarette smoking. This indicator also aims at reducing the number of children who may be exposed to cigarette smoking at home. Substance abuse details the reduction in the use of illicit substances through advocacy on the dangers of using alcohol among adults and adolescents. This health indicator also aims at reducing binge drinking in persons above the age of 18 years (Olsen, 2011).

Healthy People 2020

About Healthy People 2020

Incorporated in December 2010, Healthy People 2020 aims at availing a national agenda for the improvement of the health of all American citizens. The agenda points out certain objectives in 42 topical areas; these objectives should be achieved by the year 2020. The development of the objectives came from input that emanated from a variety of stakeholders who teamed up with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy People 2020 agenda is based on work done in three decades concerning disease prevention and the promotion of health. At the core of this health, agenda is the need to see improvements in the health sector among United States citizens (Koh, 2010).

Goals of Healthy People 2020

The agenda of Healthy People 2020 has four core goals, which it aims to achieve by the year 2020. One of the goals includes achieving equity in the provision of healthcare. This goal focuses on the eradication of differences in healthcare access and enhancing the health of all the various ethnic groups in the U.S. The other objective of Healthy People 2020 is the attainment of longer and high-quality lives. This objective relates to having a population that is free from preventable diseases, injury, disability, as well as premature death. Thirdly, the agenda strives to create physical and social environments, which will ensure that all people are healthy. Finally, Healthy People 2020 has the goal of promoting healthy development, promotion of the quality of life, and the enhancement of healthy lifestyles among the population (Koh, 2010).

The mission of Healthy People 2020 and Key areas of focus

Since it was instituted, the agenda of Healthy People 2020 aims at fulfilling the mission for which it came to being. One of the areas of focus in the mission of the agenda includes the identification of nationwide priorities, which will help in the improvement of health. Healthy People 2020 mission also entails ensuring the understanding and awareness of the public on health determinants, opportunities that can lead to progress, and issues of disability. The scope of Healthy People 2020 also deals with the objectives, which can be measured at all government levels. The mission of Healthy people 2020 also encompasses the engagement of actors from diverse sectors. The aim of doing so is to achieve strong policies and enhance improvement in practices (Koh, 2010).

The Core Objectives of Healthy People 2020

Healthy People 2020 core objectives focus on the improvement of access to health services. This objective hinges on the improvement of access to health services of high quality. The agenda gives a lot of attention to this objective since access to quality healthcare services can be regarded as crucial for the attainment of health equity. This objective places a lot of emphasis on the components of the workforce, services, coverage, as well as timeliness. Healthy People 2020 emphasizes that access to health services ensures that the population achieves the desired health outcomes. People should have access to health services whenever they need them and also access healthcare providers when the need arises (Koh, 2010).

The objectives of Healthy People 2020 can be regarded as national, as opposed to them being only federal. As a result, the achievement of these objectives depends on the capability of coordination between agencies both at the public and private sector levels.


Koh, H. K. (2010). A 2020 Vision for Healthy People. The New England Journal of Medicine, 362, 1653-1656.

Olsen, E. O. (2011). Healthy People 2010 Objectives for Unintentional Injury and Violence among Adolescents: Trends from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1999–2009. American Preventive Journal of Medicine, 41 (6), 551-558.

Sondik, E. J., Huang, D. T., Klein, R. J. & Satcher, D. (2010). Progress toward the Healthy People 2010 Goals and Objectives. Annual Review of Public Health, 31, 271-281.