Essay Example: Health Care Policy in the United States

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555 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Healthcare policies entail all the plans and decisions made to achieve the health care goals that have been set. Additionally, they also enhance the quality of healthcare while outlining the priorities of the healthcare sector.

One such policy is the Patient Protection and Affordable Act of 2010. The policy became law in 2010. The purpose of the law was to ensure that more Americans were insured through individual health insurance exchanges and employer insurance exchanges. The cost of healthcare has been increasing over the years, and people can no longer afford health insurance(Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2014). The policy ensures that the minimum requirements for an individual should be both personal and employer insurance-based schemes. The policy provided subsidies for insurance schemes and expanded the Medicaid program to cover the poor.

Some of the benefits derived from the policy include cheaper maternity and newborn care services, cheaper prescription medicines, more insurance coverage for those who could not afford and enhancement of rehabilitative and habilitative services. The policy has achieved its intended results since more people are insured especially through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The number of insured people increased by 18% between 2013 and 2014, and more than ten million people bought the insurance schemes provided (United States Census Bureau, "Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014," September 16, 2015)The policy was meant to address the rising cost of healthcare in the United States. The policy has achieved positive results although some legislature has been against it saying it consumes a lot of money.

One health care issue which I would influence a practice change is an improvement of effective communication between nurses and patients. The purpose of the policy would be to promote improvements in the safety of patients. The primary goal would be to enhance patient safety through improving communication. The Kingdon model will guide my proposed policy development.

According to Kingdon, there is need to establish a more systematic way of looking at public policy making in the United States. That systematic way should take into account the intricacies of the process. The Kingdon model provides three streams: a problem steam which is marked by indicators of the problem, a policy stream which relates to policy actors and communities who attach their solutions to emerging problems and a politics stream which constitutes the politicians and departments mandated with creating the policies. Communication between nurses and patients has not been always easy and this hinders quality healthcare delivery to patients. This problem will be shared among nurses with the major driving force behind the proposal being nurses.


To enhance the effectiveness of communication among nurses and patients

To minimize communication errors between patients and nurses


The policy would refer to all the various forms of communication that take place between patients and caregivers. Some of the policies and procedures would include:

Recording of all verbal, written or telephone conversations between patients and nurses. The records should be dated and signed by the chief nurse

Confirmation of the read-back by the person who orders any test results

Documentation of all test results



Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "National Health Expenditures 2014 Highlights," accessed October 9, 2017

Kingdon, J. W. (2010). Agendas, alternatives and public policies, updated Edition (2nd ed.).

London: Longman Publishing Group.

United States Census Bureau, "Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014," October

9, 2017


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