The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is an American health care reform act expected to affect millions of citizens. The act is expected to promote universal healthcare, improve the quality of medical services and reduce medical costs. The passage of the bill brings many reforms to the health sector. These reforms will definitely affect the professionals in the health industry and the civilians (National Physician’s Alliance 1). The main objectives of this act are;
- To enable middle and low income earners access medical services
- To increase the coverage of Medicaid to low income earners
- To regulate the health insurance industry and oblige individual citizens to purchase health insurance policies
- To encourage individual states in the US to start insurance exchange programs
The PPACA act is expected to affect the general population, nurses, employees, insurance companies and other health care providers.
Significance of Act to the population
The PPACA if fully implemented will benefit millions of American families who do not have access to medical care. Through the act, the federal government hopes to compel individual states to increase the coverage for Medicaid to low income earners (Schiff 3). States which abide by this legislation will receive huge financial incentives from the federal government. The expansion of Medicaid means that more citizens will afford medical services. In addition, the act will award subsidies to assist middle class citizens purchase health insurance policies. The bill will also provide tax credits to small organizations in order to make coverage more affordable to their workers.
The second major benefit is that health care insurance companies will be regulated by the government. Therefore, these companies cannot abuse the rights of insured people. Through the regulation, insurance companies will not discriminate people based on age, gender and ill health. This legislation ensures that insurance companies do not charge exorbitant premiums and are not allowed to terminate polices of ailing people. The insurance exchange programs proposed in the bill will ensure that most people who are not insured through their employer can evaluate different insurance policies and choose the best (National Physician’s Alliance 2). Health insurance firms will also be required to spend most of the premium collected on patients care. This will increase the quality of medical services provided. If companies don’t spend this money on patients, it will be refunded to the contributors.
For people with disabilities and long term illnesses, the act ensures that they can afford the prescribed drugs. In addition, the health care policy will be expanded to allow uninsured children benefit from the scheme.
The reforms in this act will also benefit citizens by ensuring that they spend less on medical expenses. The act puts a threshold on the maximum amount a patient can spend on medical expenses. This will lower the high cost of health care and make it affordable to all. The act also provides several incentives that will motivate professionals in the health care industry.
Significance of the affordable care act to Nurses
In the American health care system, nurses play a crucial role in caring for the patients. Since nurses are the largest workforce in the health care industry, the act will have great impacts on them (Public Sector Consultants Inc 3).
The first benefit is that the expanding health industry will demand more nurses and this will create more employment opportunities for them. All health care institutions rely on nurses for provision of vital health care services. Expanding their services means that more nurses will be employed. In addition, Due to this increased demand, the nurses will be offered better remunerations by health care institutions (Schiff 2). The act focuses on improving access to primary care and emphasizes on the prevention of diseases and creating awareness. These roles are directly related to nurses making them more marketable in the health care industry.
Secondly, affordable health care act provides that nurse managed clinics, community health centers and other health stations will be funded so as to improve their services (Wakefield 11). These centers provide primary and preventive care to patients. These centers have about 16,000 nurses in over 8,500 locations. They provide medical assistance to over 20 million Americans. The expansion of these centers through funding will enable them employ more nurses. This will create more opportunities for practitioners in the nursing industry.
Thirdly, the act also stipulates that there is need to increase the number of skilled nurses. The law supports education of nurses through grants and loans (Wakefield 11). The act also supports the establishment of a public health workforce loan repayment program to assist nurses get study loans (Public Sector Consultants Inc, 14). There will be a mandatory funding of $338 million for the establishment of nursing education programs and nursing grants.
Nurses, like any other individual have is health problems and illnesses. This means that the bill will also enable individual nurse’s access healthcare more cheaply and conveniently.
Lastly, the bill proposes that greater focus be directed towards health promotion, prevention of illnesses, management of diseases and the general well being of individuals. Most of these activities are carried out by nurses and this will expand their work and improve health (Naylor and Kurtzman 895).
Research on affordable care act
The title for my research is: investigating the perception and attitudes of nurses on the affordable health care act.
The nurses and other practitioners in the health care industry have different perceptions and attitude towards PPACA. There is need to study these perceptions in order to determine if these practitioners have acknowledged the act or they are resisting changes brought by it. This will be done by determining the attitude and perception of student’s nurses as well as those already in the profession. The research will also evaluate the challenges that nurses are experiencing in implementing the act. A total of 200 questionnaires will be issued.
Of the 200 questionnaires, 100 will be administered to practicing nurses in different health care institutions while another 100 will be administered to student nurses. The responses given by the nurses will enable the researcher to evaluate the attitudes, implementations challenges and issues that are currently being experienced by nurses due to the enactment of the bill. The results obtained will assist policy makers understand the nurse’s perception and challenges there are currently facing with regard to the act. Subsequently, this information will assist in formulation of better strategies to implement the act.
Objectives of the research
The main objectives of the research will be
- To determine the attitude nurses have on the affordable care act
- To determine the benefits of the act to the nurses in hospitals
- To determine the challenges and issues in the nursing profession due to the implementation of the act
A survey tool (questionnaire) will be administered to nurses in different health institutions and nursing schools. The responses given by the nurses will be analyzed and used to determine the attitude and the perception that nurses have on affordable care act.
It is expected that the research will cost $2000. This money will be used to prepare questionnaires, distribute them in different institutions and in analysis process. I therefore urge donors to fund this project as the results will have great impacts on the nursing practitioners.
National Physician’s Alliance. The Affordable Care Act: A Quick Guide for Physicians. 2012. Web.
Naylor, Mary and Kurtzman, Ellen. “The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Reinventing Primary Care”, Health Affairs 29.5 🙁 2010).893-899. Print.
Public Sector Consultants Inc. Assessing the Impact of Health Reform on the Health Care Workforce. Okemos, Michigan: Michigan Center for Health Professions, 2010. Print.
Schiff, Maria. The role of nurse practitioners in meeting increasing demand for primary care. National Governors Association. 2010. Web.
Wakefield, Mary. “Nurses and the Affordable Care Act”. American Journal of Nursing. 110.9: (2010).11-12. Print.