NURS 8100 Week 1: The Health Care System Part 1 Essay Assignment Paper

NURS 8100 Week 1: The Health Care System Part 1 Essay Assignment Paper

NURS 8100/8100F/8100M/8100A Week 1: The Health Care System, Part 1

The evolution of health care in the United States has been a roller-coaster story of good intentions that were often buffeted by economic and social change, compromised by special interests, and beset by passionate differences of opinion. The primary goals of health care reform have been fairly consistent: to increase access, lower costs, and improve quality. Many efforts to bring about change, however, have not resulted in policy. Why has this been such a challenge? What barriers have prevented reform efforts from being successful? Exactly how to fix the weaknesses of the current health care system continues to be an issue of public and political debate, and one which continues to be played out in the policy arena.

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This week, you will examine the history and evolution of health care and consider how health care financing has been central in shaping the current system. You also will examine provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA)—a groundbreaking attempt at reforming the U.S. health care system by the enactment of new policy.

Looking Ahead

In Week 2, you will begin an assignment that requires you to interview a policy maker. Due to the time-sensitive nature of getting on the desired individual’s schedule, you may wish to review this assignment now to begin thinking about who you might like to contact.


Students will:

  • Analyze principal features of the U.S. health care system
  • Evaluate the policy process in relation to challenges for health care reform
  • Access online learning resources for professional growth and development

After much public and political debate, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The PPACA is one of many health care reform efforts that have sought to correct key features of the U.S. health care system such as financing, service delivery, and care coordination. This week, you will examine the passage of PPACA as a milestone along the historical continuum of health care reform in the United States.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and media presentation, reflecting on the evolution of health care in the United States and the public’s response to health care reform efforts historically and currently.
  • Consider: What principal features of the U.S. health care system helped or hindered the enactment of federal health reform in March 2010? What challenges were encountered?
  • How do these conditions and/or challenges reflect characteristics of the policy process and the political environment?

By Day 3

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

  • Analyze at least one important feature of the U.S. health care system that is of particular interest to you. Explain why you think this feature is significant in terms of health policy and reform.
  • Describe one or more conditions or challenges specifically related to the passing of the PPACA. Explain how this exemplifies the nature of the policy-making process, and evaluate how it could relate to the question of why health reform in the United States has been so difficult.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

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