1. A large number of Americans have access to health care today. While the health policy is largely similar across the country, the implementation process, quality, and cost vary with each state.  It is the responsibility of the state government to fine-tune the health legislations in a way that benefits its citizens.

The healthcare reforms signed in 2008 by Governor Pawlenty is an example of a state attempting to reform the healthcare sector. The policy was meant to significantly reduce the number of obese people in the state of Minnesota as well as reduce the number of tobacco users. An estimated 8,700 more people were to have access to MinnesotaCare coverage by 2011(Aspinall, 2008).

As is the case with many states, politics and the political climate has a role to play in the making of policies. As a largely Democrat state, Minnesota can be perceived as riding the wave of change brought about by the election of president Obama. One of the hallmarks of the Obama administration was the Affordable Care Act, and the state of Minnesota was looking to implement changes of its own in order to have more people covered in their state.

By signing the pieces of legislations into law, the governor put into consideration the recommendations of the Minnesota Department Of Health as well as the governor’s own Transformation Task Force. In fact, MDH was required to develop and implement standards of certification for healthcare homes by July 1, 2009 (Aspinall, 2008). There is no indication however that the professional nursing organizations been involved in this policy issue. 

Among some of the recommendations in the pieces of legislation, it required a workgroup to work on developing recommendations to regulate and educate oral health practitioners (Aspinall, 2008). Nurses have great potential to contribute in developing of such policies. The state of Minnesota and other states could be better working with the various nursing professionals and engage them in health policy activities as their input will result in better legislation that is all inclusive.

  1. References

Aspinall, E. E. (2008). My Health Minnesota: Electronic Health Library.

2 Great discussion, how would you utilized the learned experiences from this class to make an impact on a health care policy or wicked problem in health? 

3- Among the most common health policies present in the United States is the Affordable Care Act, a health policy aimed at ensuring comprehensive healthcare for all Americans. There are various tools used in the implementation of this Act. They include sample work plans, insurance code Self Audit Tool, and the Exchange Functions checklist. The US political space has a long history of directing the public support through mechanisms available in the private sector, and the tax code. This has prompted to the disaffection that has been experienced in the tools and mechanisms used in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The implementation mechanisms of the Act used by theUS government make citizens perceive the Affordable Care Act as a system of private insurance, rather than a government program.

It is an apparent fact that professional nursing organizations have been involved in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to nurses playing a vital role in ensuring patient safety, quality care, and cost containment, they ensure that they work not only to enhance the individual results, but also the results for health systems in general. The Affordable Care Act is an example of such health systems.  An overview of the Affordable Care Act asserts that it is a reform of the US healthcare system that is aimed at providing more Americans with access to affordable and quality health insurance, and also reduce the US healthcare spending.The points to take from the Affordable Care Act include;

  • Americans with health insurance are allowed access to new rights, protections and benefits.

  • The Act also makes insurance more affordable.

  • Again, the Act spreads risks equally to all the parties insured in an attempt to reduce discrimination.

    References

    Ketetian, S. (1975). Application of selected nursing research findings into nursing practice: a pilot study. Nursing Research, 24(2), 89-92.

    Protection, P., & Act, A. C. (2010). Patient protection and affordable care act. Public law, 111(148), 1.

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