The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has three primary goals: expand access to health insurance, reduce costs, and protect patients from erratic actions by insurance companies (American Institute for Economic Research, 2018). The ACA sets limits on price and structure of health insurance, as well as, places new insurance requirements on employers and individuals (American Institute for Economic Research, 2018). According to Green, “many believe that the ACA is the closest to universal health coverage that the United States can achieve” (2018). It is not a national healthcare plan. The ACA addresses quality of care and equity of care. The Office of Legislative Counsel breaks down the ACA into 11 sections/titles:
Quality affordable healthcare for all Americans, Role of Public Programs, Improving the quality and efficiency of health care, Prevention of chronic disease and improving public health, Healthcare workforce, Transparency and Program integrity, Improving Access to innovative medical therapies, Class act, Revenue provisions, Strengthening quality affordable health care for all Americans, Education and health (2010).
In relation to community and public health, the ACA addresses disease prevention, access to preventive services, and creating healthier communities (Office of Legislative Counsel, 2010). Under this system, focus will be on encouraging life-long wellness. Health promotion starts in the community. The ACA also proposes making screenings and prevention a priority, supplying tools to access science-based research for health-related information, and waiving co-payments for senior citizens on Medicare (Office of Legislative Counsel, 2010).
Under the ACA “nurses are in prime position to now practice as fully as possible”, according to Green (2018). Nurses step into leadership roles that can influence policy and decision making within the communities they serve. Further education is a priority under the ACA, and with this, nurses expand their knowledge on best practices to promote well-being. Community health nurses are essential to preventive health care. These nurses practice outside typical healthcare settings which allows further outreach to more persons. American Institute for Economic Research states, “nurses maintain a critical role for transforming the current “sick care” system into a true “health care” system” (2018), because of their holistic approach to community centered healthcare.
Using 200=300 APA format with references to support the discussion
What are the most important elements of the Affordable Care Act in relation to community and public health? What is the role of the nurse in implementing this law?