What are the most important elements of the Affordable Care Act in relation to community and public health? NRS 428

What are the most important elements of the Affordable Care Act in relation to community and public health? NRS 428

What are the most important elements of the Affordable Care Act in relation to community and public health? NRS 428

Topic 4 DQ 2

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010. Many of the provisions of the law directly affect health care providers. Review the following topic materials:

  1. “About the Affordable Care Act”
  2. “Health Care Transformation: The Affordable Care Act and More”

What are the most important elements of the Affordable Care Act in relation to community and public health? What is the role of the nurse in implementing this law?


The Affordable Care Act’s contributions to community and public health include preventing insurance companies from charging a higher price to those with pre-existing conditions; extending coverage of dependents until the age of 26; preventing insurance providers from putting annual lifetime limits for services; and additional preventative care services such as health screenings, vaccinations, and counseling (Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, 2021). The effect of this is to decrease disparities that prevent many people from seeking out healthcare due to financial reasons, which can result in secondary benefit. Simes et al. (2022) found that expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was correlated with decreases in arrests, including drug related and violence related arrests in the first three years after implementation. The overall difference was a 20-32% decrease in arrest rates, though this was only seen in conjunction with social and criminal justice reform (Simes et al., 2022).

The Affordable Care Act’s amendments to Title VIII of the Public Health Services Act also provides funding and grants for nurse-managed health centers, as well as reimbursement for five hospitals to establish Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration programs to train advanced practice nurses (American Nurses Association, 2014). The Nursing Workforce Diversity Grants also provides nursing education opportunities to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, ethnic and racial minorities; more than 5,000 nursing students were trained in the program with 1,234 graduates during the 2012-2013 academic year (American Nurses Association, 2014). Greater diversity among healthcare providers can allow for less ethnocentric care teams, as well as the possibility of providing more culturally competent care. Nurses can take advantage of these programs to further their education and help to create a healthcare system with more, better educated providers.




American Nurses Association. (2014, June 18). Health care transformation: The Affordable Care Act and more. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/~4afc9b/globalassets/practiceandpolicy/health-policy/healthcare-reform-document.pdf


Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA). (2021, April 29). About the ACA. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-aca/preventive-care/index.html


Simes, J. T., & Jahn, J. L. (2022). The consequences of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act for police arrests. PLoS ONE, 17(1), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.


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This is a very interesting statistic about drug arrests. I wonder if the correlation is because people don’t have to go to the black market to find pain medications to deal with their chronic pain. I didn’t realize that the Affordable Care Act established programs to help train advanced practice nurses; this is a great development. I agree with you that greater diversity is great for healthcare and for better patient care outcomes. Great post!

  • Judy Han

replied toSteven Hebert

Jan 22, 2022, 8:28 PM

    • Replies to Steven Hebert

Steve, the number of reduced drug arrests may be due to those with substance abuse problems who are able to get treatment, which reduces “contact with the criminal justice system” except for possibly heroin users, or it might simply be due to improved socioeconomical status due to having healthcare insurance (Simes et al., 2022). Medicaid expansion also came at the time where opioid overdoses and deaths were highest, and Simes and Jahn (2022) also found that opioid-related deaths were twice as high in states without health expansion. There is room for more research on the how precisely healthcare expansion helps communities, and what needs are left unaddressed. I also did not know about the opportunities that the ACA provided for nursing education, though I think these may have been addendums to existing programs.



Simes, J. T., & Jahn, J. L. (2022). The consequences of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act for police arrests. PLoS ONE, 17(1), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.


Margaret Kamara

Posted Date

Jan 21, 2022, 11:50 PM

Replies to Judy Han

According to Green (2018), the Affordable Care Act is a healthcare reform legislation designed to extend health insurance coverage to uninsured, reduce healthcare costs, improve the health care system efficiency, and boost preventative care. The law has had a great impact on the community and public health.

The most essential element is the extended health care coverage leading to increase demand for care in community health centers. More people have access to health care, which is vital to promoting the health of the community. The nurses have a role in providing quality and safe care in these centers and promoting prevention rather than treatment.


The second important element is the emphasis on preventative care. The ACA placed substantial emphasis on public health and prevention. According to Chait and Glied (2018), the Prevention and Public Health (PPHF) provides public health budgetary flexibility and crucial funding for public health services. The Fund also ensures increased funding in the U.S. public health system’s prevention, wellness, and initiatives (Green, 2018). Nurses have a role in promoting health education and prevention strategies that consumers can apply to increase their self-efficacy and independence in health-promoting behavior.


Nurses have a crucial role in implementing the preventative initiatives of the ACA and ensure increased quality and safety of care (Cleveland, Motter, & Smith, 2019). They also have a role in promoting the health of the community by educating people on the ACA and its provision. Most low-income earners or uninsured persons may lack the knowledge of this coverage. Educating them and mobilizing the public and healthcare providers to exercise the law is an essential role of the nurse. It is also important to advocate for the community needs as provisioned in the Act. For instance, proper allocation and use of the PPHF money.



Chait, N., & Glied, S. (2018). Promoting prevention under the Affordable Care Act. Annual Review of Public Health, 39(1), 507-524.

Cleveland, K. A., Motter, T., & Smith, Y. (2019). Affordable care: Harnessing the power of nurses. OJIN, 24(2). https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-24-2019/No2-May-2019/Affordable-Care.html#change

Green, S. Z. (2018). The environment, policy, and health effectiveness. In Community and public health: The future of health care. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs427vn/community-and-public-health-the-future-of-health-care/v1.1/

Steven Hebert

replied toMargaret Kamara

Jan 23, 2022, 8:36 AM

  • Replies to Margaret Kamara

Hi Margaret,

I agree that nurses play a vital role in providing quality and safe care in community centers. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many more Americans were able to get insurance and this has made the opportunity to educate and care for patients that much more important. Nurses can now reach those that previously had very little healthcare. I agree with you that it is the nurses role to advocate for their patient and educate them as much as possible to contribute to a healthier society. Great post!

Benjamin Wright

Posted Date

Jan 21, 2022, 10:47 PM

Replies to Judy Han

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a comprehensive healthcare reform law that was enacted in March 2010. The main goal of this healthcare reform law was to improve access and affordability of health insurance for individuals. It also worked to expand the Medicaid program and support groundbreaking medical care delivery systems that help to lower the cost of healthcare. (HealthCare.gov, 2021) Over time, the ACA has increased the number of Americans that are insured, and it has improved the healthcare coverage provided by health insurance companies. “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report that shows 31 million Americans have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act.” It also shows that “between 2010 and 2016, the number of non-elderly uninsured adults decreased by 41 percent, falling from 48.2 million to 28.2 million.” (U.S. department of health & human services, 2021) This has allowed access to quality healthcare for millions of Americans that did not have it before. The ACA works to improve the community and public health by establishing a prevention and public health fund that provides grants to states and their communities for healthcare prevention strategies such as disease screenings and immunizations. To improve health quality and performance within communities, it provides data collection and reporting systems to address health disparities among populations based on geographic location, ethnicity, gender, etc. (King & Garcia, 2011) These things help to improve access and quality of care within communities. Nurses play a key role in the implementation process of healthcare reform. Nurses are deeply involved in direct patient care and are in positions that allow them to be leaders to work to improve the healthcare system by developing systems to reduce medical errors, improve quality of care, increase access to care, and provide better care coordination. (American Nurse, 2010) It is important going forward that healthcare professionals and healthcare stakeholders continue to work together to implement policy changes and healthcare reform that improves the healthcare system in the United States.


American Nurse. (2010, September 11). Nursing’s role in healthcare reform. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.myamericannurse.com/nursings-role-in-healthcare-reform/

HealthCare.gov. (2021). Affordable care act (aca) – healthcare.gov glossary. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from