Healthcare is a social sector, which has a particular importance for the country and the citizens because it affects their health and well-being in general. Healthy population has the increased working potential and requires less medical treatment initiatives. However, recent issues regarding the sphere of healthcare in the US involve discussions regarding the adequacy of the government’s expenditures on the healthcare and healthcare policy efficacy. As a result, the government and the president initiated a healthcare reform aiming at increasing the effectiveness of healthcare services and, therefore, positively affecting the wealth of the nation. This healthcare paper analyzes positive and negative features of healthcare reform in the US and investigates the current situation of healthcare services in Florida. The presented information would enhance the knowledge about the proposed initiatives in the sphere of healthcare as well as increase the understanding of the role of the Advance Practice Nurse in this system.
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Healthcare Reform Analysis
Healthcare reform was initiated as a comprehensive method of solving current healthcare problems in the US. The latter include the fact that the healthcare service is very expensive, delivers inferior care, does not cover the whole population because of the financial barrier and other (Schnurer, 2015). As a result, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, which initiated comprehensive health insurance reforms in order to assure the access to healthcare services for the whole population of the US. Thus, it is claimed that it is working “to make health care more affordable, accessible and of a higher quality, for families, seniors, businesses, and taxpayers alike” (“Key features of the affordable care act”, 2013). However, it is evident that the healthcare system in the US has a lot of systemic drawbacks, which sometimes overlap each other, so to overcome them one needs a significant amount of time. Among the critical features of the Act one can name protection from the abuse in the insurance industry, cost-free preventive services, prescription discounts, free preventive care for seniors, linking payment to quality outcomes and other (“Key features of the affordable care act”, 2013). Thus, in general, one may claim that the Affordable Care Act is gradually improving the quality of the healthcare system.
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The introduction of the Affordable Care Act led to the fact that experts in the sphere of healthcare legislation divided into two groups arguing about its benefits and drawbacks. The supporters of this initiative indicate that despite the fact that the impressive number of 2,309 pages of the healthcare reform make the bill signed by the president incomprehensible, it is working for the nation (Rice, 2010). Therefore, among the benefits of the healthcare reform they name increased access to healthcare, encouragement of employers to offer health insurance, strengthened consumer protections and increasing service transparency, encouragement of preventive care and other (“What is health care reform?”, n. d.). At the same time, those who criticize the proposed changes, argue that half of the medical coverage might be lost as a result of the increased rates together with the exponential increase of healthcare costs (Rakoczy, 2013). Similarly, there are fears of the increased rates of tax penalties for being uninsured, the danger of incomplete administration of the reforms by different states, and complicated shopping for coverage (“The Pros and Cons of the Affordable Care Act”, 2015). So, despite the fact that the proposed reform may enhance the quality and accessibility of healthcare its perspectives are treated with skepticism.
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Healthcare Reform in Florida
It is important to characterize the aspects of healthcare reform in Florida because this state is one of the most populated in the country and includes numerous stakeholders. The analysis of the situation in the healthcare sector in Florida demonstrates that it has a number of critical issues, which require mitigation. For instance, Sarkissian (2016) reports that “Florida’s medical industry lacks transparency in pricing, includes too many cost controls and has too much government involvement.” Thus, it is estimated that more than two-thirds of utilization is generated from government resources, and there is no free market system which prevent Florida from active implementation of the healthcare reform (Sarkissian, 2016). As a result, the total population health of Floridians in 2013 was ranked below the national average with the 34th place among 50 states (“The Florida health care landscape”, 2013). This was partially a result of the attempts to restrain the policies introduced by the president. One of them was the denial of establishment of a proposed system of deliberate medical insurance, which endangered a large number of poor and uninsured people (“Blocking health care reform in Florida”, 2013). However, three years later, the situation drastically changed becoming more positive. Thus, it is reported that in 2016 Florida leads the nation in enrolment for health insurance plans with more than 1.6 million of its citizens having signed up for coverage (Chang, 2016). Therefore, despite specific organizational issues, the implementation of healthcare reform in Florida goes according to the program signed by the president. Together with the increase in the quality of care for the patients, it changes the role of the nursing personnel. Thus, it is expected that the nurses would have more personal responsibility and freedom of choice when treating patients. Being the core providers of medical care, they are expected to have increased funding on education, shift care from inpatient to outpatient and have increased standards in their specialties (“How will the Affordable Care Act affect the nursing profession?”, 2013). Therefore, despite being complicated in description, healthcare reform aims at improving the quality and the level of access to healthcare services increasing the well-being of the population.
Summarizing the presented information, the paper concludes that healthcare reform is a critical step of the government towards the improvement of the nation’s health and well-being. The performed investigation of the issue demonstrated that the opinions of the public regarding the outcomes of the discussed initiative differ. Thus, one group of people claims that the reform is difficult to achieve because of the systemic complexity of the healthcare sector deteriorating the efficacy of the changes. Others oppose that despite the systemic difficulties the reform is capable of increasing the level of access and the quality of services. Some states, such as Florida, had specific troubles in implementing the healthcare reform, which led to the population’s absence of medical insurance protection and deteriorated the quality of well-being. However, recent analysis of the issue demonstrated that the state successfully increased the level of access to healthcare services assuring the civil rights of the citizens. Additionally, the implemented changes lead to the fact that nurses play principal role in providing healthcare, which has shifted to outpatient care with the increased standards of medical service.