With President Obama re-elected, this means the health care reform that Mitt Romney had planned to stop on day one, had he won, will continue to move forward. The Affordable Care Act increases access to health care ultimately leading a demand for nurses as the country is provided with the right to health care.* The American Nursing Association (ANA) agrees with the president when he says, “health care is a right, not a privilege,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley.* The Act will increase the demand for nurses due to the increase of patients and coverage options.
As of August 2012, one of the most important benefits to the Act was enforced; insurance companies have made preventative screenings, vaccines and scans free under their plans. This will be a positive change for many hospital and clinics as health care providers are given the chance to prevent illnesses. Nurses will have more time to provide health care education and preventative services.
The Act will also introduce over 34 million uninsured Americans by 2014, as it requires anyone that does not have health care to gain coverage either through private companies, Medicaid, Medicare or exchange. In addition, effective 2014, insurance companies may not discriminate or deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.*
Amy Fusselman, a RN at Allegheny GeneralHospitalin Pennsylvaniasaid “I have seen the grief and pain suffered by patients and their families who delayed care because they could not afford the co-pays that come with visits for preventive screenings. In my experience, outcomes are much better when patients have access to proper preventive care and appropriate medical treatment.”*
Another effect of the increase in access to proper health care is the shift to having clinics ran by nurse practitioners. A nurse practitioner is a nurse that has achieved a graduate level of education. A nurse practitioner can act as a patient’s primary care provider as they have gone through diagnosis and treatment training.
“And in communities where there is no medical care at all, clinics run by nurse practitioners hold the potential to make a real, positive difference in the quality of people’s lives. And that is what ‘care’ is all about,” said a blogger of AllVoices.com.*
Upcoming reforms from this Act:*
– January 2013: New funding provided to states to expand Medicaid programs that offer preventative care to patients at low or no cost.
– Fall of 2013: open enrollment begins
– January 2014: All Americans will be insured either from private companies, Medicaid, Medicare or exchange.
- Insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
- Individuals whose employers do not offer insurance can receive coverage from the exchange.
- Tax credit will be issued to middle class families to help pay for private insurance plans.
– January 2015: Physician’s pay will be determined by the quality of care they provide.
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*The Affordable Care Act calls for all Americans to be insured, and requests nurses to provide patient education and preventative services. (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 11/2012).
* The American Nurses Association (ANA) publically thanked and congratulated the President on being elected for another 4 years. (Source: www.nursingworld.org, 11/2012).
*The Affordable Care Act states by 2014 Insurance companies may not deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions. (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 11/2012).
*Registered Nurse Amy Fusselman recently shared her support of the Act after experiencing what her patients have gone through. (Source: www.seiu.org, 11/2012).
*A blogger states nurse practitioners have potential to make a positive difference in the quality of people’s lives. (Source: www.allvoices.com, 11/2012).
* According to the timeline for things to be rolled out. (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 11/2012).