Benchmark – Population Health Policy Analysis

Benchmark – Population Health Policy Analysis

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) nicknamed Obamacare is an influential health care legislation intended to enable the United States residents to access high-quality and affordable health care. The law intends to ensure that more people are covered by health insurance and improve the quality of health insurance. The policy also aims to regulate the health insurance industry as well as lessen health care spending. The ACA is designed to improve population health through minimizing barriers that people encounter when accessing care and make health coverage more affordable and of high quality (Crain & Sherraden, 2017). Benchmark – Population Health Policy Analysis

The ACA in particular targets populaces that had in the past been uninsured but failed to meet the thresholds of income eligibility for Medicaid along with other safety net programs. McKenna et al (2018) assert that before the ACA, the median Medicaid income eligibility level for people with no children was 61 percent of the poverty line or federal poverty level(FPL) across states, while for those with children differed across states. This made near deprived and deprived adults disqualified for enrollment into Medicaid, without the means of affording health insurance coverage within the private market.


The ACA was crafted with the aim of extending coverage to people through increasing income eligibility thresholds income for grown-ups to 133 percent of the FPL, offering federal tax credits so as to lessen costs of private insurance premium for people with incomes fro100-400%  of the FPL as well as cost-sharing subsidies to lessen out-of-pocket spending of individuals with incomes from 100 -250 % of the FPL. The credit exchanges enabled people to buy health insurance via market exchanges (McKenna et al 2018).

The ACA is not financially sound for both the federal government and insurance companies. As Levin (2016) alleges, the federal government establishes the individuals that insurance companies should cover and the benefits they must be given.  It averts these firms from refusing to offer to cover individuals with preexisting health conditions or increasing charges for people at higher risk factors.  Additionally, it limits the out-of-pocket money that insurance providers may charge policyholders. These directives will increasingly make it more hard for insurance firms to continue being financially viable. The crafters of the ACA tried to remodel the price of these directives by compelling healthy younger people to purchase insurance that may not be needed r wanted. Younger individuals, are healthier and thus not likely to utilize healthcare services, are funding Obamacare, which makes the ACA not to be financially viable.

The ACA has been faced with legal and ethical issues.  As indicated by Freeman et al (2016), the passage, as well as the implementation of the ACA has been politically divisive and extremely controversial.  Since the time the ACA law was signed, various groups have filed lawsuits to confront the constitutionality of the policy, focusing especially on the two key provisions of ACA: the individual-coverage requirement (individual mandate) and  Medicaid expansion. The court made a ruling that the individual mandate legal but the Medicaid expansion is illegal because the legislation doesn’t offer states with sufficient time for them to voluntarily consent to the modifications the ACA made to the Medicaid structure and therefore states will possibly be thought to be noncompliant. Benchmark – Population Health Policy Analysis

An ethical issue surrounding ACA in regard to payment issues I that improves access to health care and nurse practitioner services is that the ACA made amendments to the public health service Act titled non-discrimination in the provision of health care.  This Acts authorizes that neither individual nor group health plans shall discriminate against the participation of the provider of health care under the coverage and plan for their selected provider, provided that the provider is working within the scope of his or her certification or state licensure. Nevertheless, once licensed, nurse practitioner reimbursement continues being determined by regulations of individual states.  (Mason et al, 2016).  Therefore, a nurse practitioner must understand the disparities amid the focus on the expansion of insurance coverage and the reimbursement issues when implementing it.

The Global, state and federal health goals that the ACA is related to

The health care policy is related to the federal, global and state goals of ensuring equitable health care for United States populations. The ACA is intended to ensure that vulnerable populations are able to access to cost-effective and high-quality care. The ACA aims at enabling families and individuals to access health insurance coverage, particularly those who are discriminated by the public and private mechanisms. The law primarily targets middle and low-income families and individuals since they make up the huge majority of those not insured (Kominski et al, 2017).

According to Huff et al (2016), the ACA expands health insurance coverage for millions of low-income populations along with other vulnerable groups. It has enabled people with incomes below 138 percent of the FPL to be eligible for  Medicaid.  The ACA is also beneficial to vulnerable populations, including those with preexisting conditions, older adults, who have chronic diseases, individuals with health-related disabilities, the mentally ill, homeless individuals as well as young adults under foster care scheme.

Several states have established heal benefit exchanges in which uninsured persons are able to attain private coverage from qualified plans and get a subsidy to partly pay for the premium. Via these exchanges, middle-income families and individuals with a federal poverty level between 139 percent and 400 percent are able to get coverage with premiums that are not discriminative on the basis of a preexisting health condition. Due to tax credits on the basis of income, the ACA has increased the affordability of health coverage (Huff et al, 2016).

Advocacy strategies I might use to  the population  to ensure they benefit from the policy

The implementation of the ACA has offered and will continue offering new healthcare opportunities to patient populaces from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including African Americans, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans. According to Ronnebaum and Schmer (2015) individuals from culturally diverse origins get into the healthcare scheme with numerous issues entailing medical mistrust, insufficient health literacy, and socioeconomic disparities.  These issues mind impede these populaces from fully benefiting from the provisions of ACA.

As an advocate might advocate for healthcare providers to identify and provide culturally diverse care as patient populaces become rapidly diverse.  Additionally, I may advocate for nurse leaders to focus on identifying the requirement for delivering cultural awareness training to health care providers. As indicated by to Ronnebaum and Schmer (2015) provision of this education is vital because all patient populaces needs to clearly understand their individual health concerns, available health insurance coverage, and treatment regimens, as well as advocates who comprehend their individual health decisions.


 From a Christian point of view, advanced registered nurses have the professional and moral duty to advocate for health care equality, promote health and also prevent illnesses among diverse groups. Nurses should ensure that all people, regardless of age, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity have access to health care and advocate against racism and discrimination which adversely affects minority groups, the nursing profession, as well as the general health care scheme (Fitzgerald et al, 2016). Benchmark – Population Health Policy Analysis

In Deuteronomy chapter  10 verses 17-19, Bible tells us  that God loves and cares about people not considering their  social status, nationality and ethnicity while in Genesis 1:27 God cares the way we treat one another because we are all created in his likeness and he doesn’t make distinction amid the intrinsic worth of one ethnicity  or race over another.  God doesn’t demonstrate favoritism but accepts all people who do the right and fears him (Acts 10:34-35). Fitzgerald et al (2016) claim that nurses can use their advocacy skills in all settings to shield and protect diverse populations, families, and colleagues from being discriminated in the provision of health care.


Crain, M., & Sherraden, M.  (2017).Working and Living in the Shadow of Economic Fragility. New York:  Oxford University Press.

Fitzgerald, E., Myers J., & Clark, P. (2016). Nurses Need Not Be Guilty Bystanders: Caring for Vulnerable Immigrant populations. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 22:1.

Freeman, M., Hawkes, S., & Bennett, B… (2016). Law and Global Health: Current Legal Issues.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Huff, R., Kline, M., & Peterson, D. (2016). Health Promotion in Multicultural Populations: A Handbook for Practitioners and Students.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE Publications.

Kominski, G., Nonzee, N., & Sorensen, A.  (2017). The Affordable Care Act’s Impacts on Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations. Annual review of Public Health, 38: 489-505.

Levin, M. (2016).Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young people and the Future.  New York: Simon & Schuster.

Mason, D., Gardner, D., & Outlaw, F. (2016). Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care. Philadelphia: Saunders.

McKenna, R., Langellier, B., & Alcala, H et al. (2018). The Affordable Care Act Attenuates Financial Strain According to Poverty Level.  Inquiry, 55: 0046958018790164.

Ronnebaum, E., Schmer, C. (2015). Patient Advocacy and the Affordable Care Act: The Growing Need for Nurses to be Culturally Aware. Open Journal of Nursing, 5: 237-245. Benchmark – Population Health Policy Analysis

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