Health care is always a platform for a political agenda, but with the 2008 presidential campaign not so far away, the concern and conversation relating to the alarming number of Americans without health coverage is rising. It is speculated that there are around 47 million Americans uninsured.
“Pursue the nearest duty.”
Bush seeks to provide a remedy by focusing on two angles: making coverage more available by reforming the tax code and to provide federal funding to states with an abundance of low-income and hard-to-insure residents. The former plan would involve a standard deduction in taxes for those purchasing insurance on their own or through their workplace. The latter plan would seek to deliver basic, affordable private health insurance to applicable residents.
Bush intends for the two solutions to stymie the reliance on government-run health care. Bush hopes that his plan will foster the opportunity for Americans to be more in control of their medical decisions. Critics of Bush’s plan say that the lower income population would not benefit from this plan because they will still not be likely to afford the premiums even if they do have a plan. Another vociferation is that the plan might force employers to lower or drop benefits in parts of the country where premiums are the highest and in small business sectors.
Congress will also attempt to peer into the health care problem. The federal government will address many nursing specific bills in the near future:
- The Nursing School Capacity Act of 2007 will allow research to focus on the constraints encountered by schools of nursing in relation to admitting and graduating nurses sufficient in meeting the pressing health care needs of Americans, assess if entry-level graduates are pleased with their schooling preparation, and evaluate salary and benefit structures within the field.
-The Nurse Education, Expansion, and Development Act of 2007would give nursing schools funds to add to their faculty, maintain facilities, purchase equipment, and recruit students. This bill would provide over $255 million over the period of three years.
-The Medicaid Advanced Practice Nurses and Physician Assistants Access Act of 2007, seeks to expand access under the Medicaid fee-for-service program. Currently, pediatric nurse practitioners and family nurse practitioners qualify, but the bill seeks to include all nurse practitioners, CNSs, and physician assistants as primary care providers.
“Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things… You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
Calling All Nurses
Those engrossed on the topics say that there is no better group to speak on these issues than RNs. It is projected that the nursing shortage will increase to add to the need of more than 1 million nurses by the year 2020. By 2015, all 50 states will experience a shortage of nurses.