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?

1086 Words Nov 21st, 2013 5 Pages
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands access to coverage to millions of Americans, a goal health plans have long supported, but major provisions will raise costs and disrupt coverage for individuals, families, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The broad market reforms outlined in the ACA take effect on January 1, 2014. Individuals and families purchasing insurance in the individual market will be guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions, and their premiums cannot vary based on their gender or medical history. There will also be subsidies to help consumers afford the cost of coverage, and new health insurance exchanges will help consumers find the policies that best meet their needs. At the same time, other …show more content…
Together, these expansions are expected to result in a doubling of the number of patients served, raising the total number of health center patients from 20 million in 2010 to approximately 40 million by 2015(National Association of Community Health Centers,2007).In addition to insuring most Americans, making an effort to rationalize health care, investing in primary health care in medically underserved communities, and broadening coverage for effective clinical preventive health services, the Affordable Care Act makes direct public health investments. Part of these investments come in the form of new regulatory requirements related to coverage of clinical preventive services without cost sharing, a fundamental shift in the relationship between health insurance and clinical preventive care. In addition, the Act provides for the development of a national prevention plan and the establishment of a Prevention and Public Health Trust Fund to finance community investments that will improve public health(National Association of Community Health Centers). The Fund, with a value set at $15 billion, provides additional funding for prevention activities beginning in FY 2010 and continuing annually.The law recognizes that scope of practice barriers need to be removed in order for nurses to provide the full continuum of nursing care in a reformed health system, particularly in the delivery of primary care.

The American Academy of Nursing, along with many other nursing

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