The IOM Future of Nursing report calls for an increase in leadership from nurses at all levels. One-way nurses demonstrate their role as a leader, is through public policy change. Locate a current (within the last 5 years) piece of legislation (or one being proposed) that relates to the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill populations. Then address the following: What are the strengths/weaknesses of this legislation? What recommendations for change would you propose? How does this legislation affect your practice? I need the article too.

Title: Analysis of Current Legislation Addressing the Elderly, Disabled, or Chronically Ill Populations

The call for increased leadership from nurses, as highlighted in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report, emphasizes the role of nurses in driving changes in public policy. Nurses have a key opportunity to advocate for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill populations through policy change. In examining the strengths and weaknesses of a current or proposed legislation within the past 5 years, this analysis aims to provide an overview of the impact on healthcare for these populations and recommend changes if necessary. Specifically, this analysis focuses on legislation addressing the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill populations.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Current Legislation:
One example of recent legislation that significantly impacts the elderly, disabled, and chronically ill populations is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed in 2010. The ACA has several strengths, including expanding access to healthcare coverage through Medicaid expansion and the establishment of health insurance exchanges. These provisions contribute to increased insurance rates and enhanced affordability for many individuals in these vulnerable populations.

Additionally, the ACA introduced significant measures to protect patients from discriminatory insurance practices, such as denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. These safeguards ensure that individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities have equal access to healthcare and do not face financial burdens due to their medical conditions.

However, the ACA also has its weaknesses. Firstly, the ACA’s Medicaid expansion is not uniformly implemented across all states, resulting in disparities in access to Medicaid for low-income individuals in different regions. This discrepancy has created gaps in coverage for certain populations, especially those in states that did not expand Medicaid as intended under the law.

Secondly, although the ACA introduced essential patient protections, the coverage options available through the health insurance exchanges may still be unaffordable for some individuals, particularly those with lower incomes. This affordability issue can hinder access to necessary healthcare services and medications for the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill populations, ultimately affecting their overall health outcomes.

Recommendations for Change:
To address the weaknesses in the current legislation, several recommendations can be made. Firstly, it is crucial to encourage universal Medicaid expansion across all states. Expanding Medicaid coverage uniformly would help ensure that all low-income individuals, regardless of their location, have access to comprehensive healthcare services. This could be achieved through federal incentives or mandates that encourage states to adopt Medicaid expansion.

Secondly, the affordability of healthcare coverage should be improved, particularly for those with lower incomes. Enhanced financial assistance and subsidies should be provided to individuals who fall within certain income thresholds, reducing their out-of-pocket costs and ensuring they can afford essential healthcare services and medications.

Furthermore, to address disparities in access to care, efforts should be made to improve care coordination and integration of services across different healthcare providers. This would help ensure that the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill populations receive comprehensive and continuous care, resulting in better health outcomes.

Impact on Nursing Practice:
The legislation described above, namely the ACA, has had a significant impact on nursing practice. With increased access to healthcare coverage for vulnerable populations, nurses have been playing a critical role in providing care and coordinating services for these individuals. The ACA has expanded nursing roles in primary, preventive, and chronic care management, enabling nurses to make a substantial contribution to the healthcare team and improving patient outcomes.

Moreover, the ACA’s emphasis on patient-centered care aligns with the nursing profession’s core values. Nurses have been at the forefront of implementing care models that prioritize patient engagement, education, and shared decision-making. The legislation has provided opportunities for nurses to take leadership roles in care coordination, health promotion, and disease prevention within interprofessional teams.

The analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, recommendations for change, and effects on nursing practice of current legislation addressing the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill populations demonstrates the importance of nurses’ involvement in public policy. By actively participating in the development and improvement of legislation, nurses can advocate for the needs of vulnerable populations and contribute to enhancing healthcare outcomes for these individuals. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of existing legislation, along with proposing necessary changes, will ensure that the policies align with the evolving needs of the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill populations. Through their leadership, nurses can drive the transformation of healthcare systems to address the unique challenges faced by these populations.