Health Care Reform: U.S. Population Groups that Will Benefit
The health care reform bill seeks to expand health insurance coverage to about 32 million Americans who are uninsured. This implies that the bill will benefit uninsured and self-employed individuals and families earning an income in the range of 133-400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which is currently estimated to be $22,050 for a family of four. This group of individuals and families will also benefit from subsidies to purchase health insurance through state-based exchanges. Furthermore, senior citizens will benefit from Medicare through the 50 percent discount on certain prescription drugs (prescription drug rebates).
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Moreover, childless adults will also benefit from these reforms considering that they will be covered under Medicaid. Most importantly, by 2014, all citizens including children will not be denied access to health insurance on the basis that they have a pre-existing condition (Jackson & Nolen, 2010).
Health Care Reform: U.S. Population Groups that Will Not Benefit
The U.S. population groups, which will not benefit from the health care reforms, will most probably be those families earning more than $250,000 per annum or those individuals making more than $200,000 per year because they will be required to pay a 3.8 percent tax on all unearned income (investment income). Furthermore, insurance companies will enjoy minimal benefits considering that they will be required to pay a 40% excise tax on all high-end insurance plans and a 10% excise tax for all indoor tanning services. Moreover, most seniors benefiting from Medicare will have to cope with limited resources since the bill seeks to cut Medicare costs by as much as $500 billion in the next 10 years.
Another group of people, which will not benefit from these reforms, includes illegal immigrants because they are not eligible for Medicaid besides, they will not be allowed to purchase health insurance under any state-based exchanges. Furthermore, abortion will not be covered under the state-based exchanges, and hence, individuals are expected to purchase their own covers, which will cost a little more (Jackson & Nolen, 2010).
Involvement of DHHS Agencies in Health Care Reform
The DHHS agencies such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will be involved in carrying out the mandate of the health care reform in terms of providing for its information needs. Here, it is important to note that AHRQ will be charged with the responsibility of filling the current data, knowledge, and modeling gaps by enhancing transparency on the AHRQ data informing the healthcare reform, providing leadership in different public-private partnerships, and creating the evidence base to guide policy decisions among other roles (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2009).
On the other hand, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) will be charged with the responsibility of integrating the benefits payable under the two programs and improving the harmonization of the federal and state services for dual eligible beneficiaries. These responsibilities will be carried out by CMS in conjunction with the Federal Coordinated Health Care Office (CHCO) under the establishment of the Secretary of DHHS (Jochum et al., 2010).
Nursing Implications in Health Care Reform
The essence of the health care reform is to increase access to health care services for the U.S. population groups, which are currently underserved or those facing major disparities. While doing so, the health care reforms will impact the nursing profession in different ways. Here, it is important to note that the current and future trends influencing health care require that the nursing professionals are equipped with the necessary competencies based upon the community, consumerism, interdependency, constrained resources, human values, and most importantly, health outcomes.
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As a result, the current health care reforms call for changes in curriculum activities and programs to ensure that trained health professionals demonstrate committed leadership and the ability to provide care for the community, contemporary clinical care, cost-effective care, technologically-appropriate care, and evidence-based care. Most importantly, the health professionals are expected to show the ability to manage patient information and embrace continual learning considering that these competencies will enable them to remain relevant in the future (McNeal, 2010).
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2009). Filling the Information Needs for Healthcare Reform. Web.
Jackson, J., & Nolen, J. (2010). Health Care Reform Bill Summary: A look at what is in the Bill. CBSNEWS. Web.
Jochum, E. E., Sender, J. P., Zuiker, E. S., & Laster, C. G. (2010). The Health Care Reform ct: What Is Imminent and Immediate for Health Care Providers? Health Care Law Note. Web.
McNeal, G. J. (2010). The Healthcare Reform Bill and Its Impact on the Nursing Profession. The ABNF Journal, 21(2), 38-45.