Health Policy and Politics
Health Policy and Politics Essay
Health Policy and Politics Essay
Assignment: Legislation Comparison Grid and Testimony/Advocacy Statement As a nurse, how often have you thought to yourself, If I had anything to do about it, things would work a little differently? Increasingly, nurses are beginning to realize that they do, in fact, have a role and a voice. Many nurses encounter daily experiences that motivate them to take on an advocacy role in hopes of impacting policies, laws, or regulations that impact healthcare issues of interest. Of course, doing so means entering the less familiar world of policy and politics. While many nurses do not initially feel prepared to operate in this space effectively, the reward is the opportunity to shape and influence future health policy. To Prepare: Select a bill that has been proposed (not one that has been enacted) using the congressional websites provided in the Learning Resources. The Assignment: (1- to 2-page Comparison Grid; 1- to 2-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement) Part 1: Legislation Comparison Grid Based on the health-related bill (proposed, not enacted) you selected, complete the Legislation Comparison Grid Template. Be sure to address the following: Determine the legislative intent of the bill you have reviewed. Identify the proponents/opponents of the bill. Identify the target populations addressed by the bill. Where in the process is the bill currently? Is it in hearings or committees? Is it receiving press coverage? Part 2: Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement Based on the health-related bill you selected, develop a 1- to 2-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement that addresses the following: Advocate a position for the bill you selected and write testimony in support of your position. Describe how you would address the opponent to your position. Be specific and provide examples. Recommend at least one amendment to the bill in support of your position.Health Policy and Politics Essay
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Legislation Comparison Grid Template
Use this document to complete Part 1 of the Module 2 Assessment Legislation Comparison Grid and Testimony/Advocacy Statement
Health-related Bill Name Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019
Bill Number S. 1895
Description Introduced and sponsored by Senior Senator for Tennessee on 19th June 2019, the bill seeks to reduce health care costs through targeting health care coverage and services. It introduces cost-sharing approach for certain emergency and non-emergency services, and prohibits medical practitioners and facilities from billing above the recommended rates. In addition, it limits the pharmacy charges, establishes grant programs, and advocates for information dissemination. Besides that, it seeks to increase the minimum age of purchasing tobacco products from 18 years to 21 years (GovTrack, 2020).
Federal or State? Federal
Legislative Intent The bill has the intention of reducing health care costs through targeting six specific cost containment measures. Firstly, it introduces a cost sharing requirements for in-network and out-of-networks with specified rates thus ensuring that medical services are accessible at affordable prices. Secondly, it expedites drug approvals, particularly generics and biosimilars thus ensuring that cheaper drugs are availed. Thirdly, it demands accountability at billing with all charges itemized. Fourthly, it limits pharmacy charges/prices. Fifthly, it establishes grant programs. Sixthly, it requires that insurers provide comprehensive information on their costs. In addition, the legislation seeks to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years to 21 years (GovTrack, 2020).
Proponents/ Opponents Proponents: Patients and health advocates who seek to make health care more accessible through reducing costs.
Opponents: Health care providers, insurers and tobacco industry whose profit margins may be negatively impacted.
Target Population The target population is persons from low income households. The bill reduces health care costs thus making care more accessible. In addition, it targets adolescents and young adults through raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products thus reducing use of such products among the age group.
Status of the bill (Is it in hearings or committees? Is it receiving press coverage?) The bill was introduced on 19th June 2019 for discussion by the Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee. They were moved past the committee stage then sent to the House and Senate on 26th June 2019 and are yet to be discussed and passed (GovTrack, 2020).
The bill takes a proactive approach in protecting patients against exploration. It ensures that the costs of medical services are controlled and that patients are aware of what they are paying for and can even conduct cost comparisons to identify where to get the lower costs. The issue of hidden costs is eliminated. In addition, the bill raises the minimum age of purchasing tobacco products thus improving the health of the targeted population (GovTrack, 2020). Health Policy and Politics Essay
Part 2. Legislation testimony/advocacy statement
The bill takes an important step is public health through addressing two agendas. The first agenda it addressing is reducing health care costs through eliminating the price controls that health care providers enjoy, and that allows them to exploit patients. It acknowledges that providers have enjoyed independence in setting prices (a hallmark of capitalism), but that this has allowed them to exploit patients. Through setting price caps and introducing cost sharing, the charges that patients incur can be minimized. It specifically targets medical facilities and practitioners through introducing cost sharing rates. In addition, it targets pharmacy services through limiting prices. Besides that, it targets health insurers through demanding transparency thus allowing patients to compare prices and get the best value for their money. Also, it enables federal funds to be spent on grant programs to support data modernization and vaccination. These are all programs that have significant effects on lowering health care costs. Additionally, the bill helps to address population health concerns through raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products with the expectation that smoking incidences among the target group will be considerably reduced (Black, 2019).
Opponents of the legislation could argue that the legislation exerts undue control over the health care industry by restraining market practice. Although business entities should be allowed to freely practice, the legislature has the responsibility of protecting the public against exploitation. The current practices allow the health care industry to reap high profits without concern for patients. Through the controls introduces by the legislation, the industry would still report modest profits while ensuring that persons from low income households can accessed lower priced medical services (Black, 2016).
Also, opponents in the tobacco industry could argue that the legislation unfairly targets them since it only controls purchase behavior but does not control use age. Proponents could present the counterargument that although the legislation does not control use, it controls access so that teenagers and young adults find it harder to access tobacco products so that their use is minimized (Milstead & Short, 2019).Health Policy and Politics Essay
There is a need to amend the legislation to include provisions that restrict tobacco products use among adolescents and young adults. It is not enough to restructure purchase access as the targeted age group could still access tobacco products through proxies. The control would be more effective by limiting the use age (Black, 2016).
Black, B. (2016). Professional nursing-e-book: concepts & challenges. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.
GovTrack (2020). S. 1895 — 116th Congress: Lower Health Care Costs Act. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s1895
Milstead, J. A. & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: a nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Health Policy and Politics Essay