URI nursing professor examines “Obamacare” ramifications

Journal article addresses policy, politics, importance of nurses in national conversation

KINGSTON, R.I., July 27, 2017 — A newly published article by a University of Rhode Island nursing professor tackles the complexities and controversies surrounding the Affordable Care Act, including efforts to replace the current law, the role of politics in policy-making and relevance to nursing, other health professions, patients and policymakers.

What’s at Stake in U.S. Health Reform: A Guide to the Affordable Care Act and Value-Based Care,” by Betty Rambur, professor of nursing and the Routhier Endowed Chair for Practice in the College of Nursing, appears in Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, a quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal published by SAGE Publications Inc. that explores the multiple relationships between nursing and health policy.

Rambur analyzes recent health policy reforms, delineates possible financial and patient care impacts of changes to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” and describes recent congressional efforts to replace the law. Rambur breaks the complex policy into clear and distinct components and encourages nurses of all political persuasions as health care leaders and advocates for their patients to know the issues and engage with lawmakers.

“This article is among the best reviews of the Affordable Care Act. Professor Rambur provides unusually clear explanations of the law and the nuances of recent legislative proposals. Readers will be able to engage in discussions with policymakers, patients and clinicians based on evidence and facts,” said Sally Cohen, editor in chief of Policy, Politics & Nursing and a clinical professor at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Indeed, the publisher’s assessment that this is a timely, important and influential analysis has led it to promote the article on Twitter and other social media venues across the nation and world. The publication of this important analysis and synthesis could not be more opportune, given the deliberations in Congress at the moment, Cohen observed.

The article offers a clear understanding to a highly complex and politicized piece of federal legislation that influences the lives of almost all Americans, she added. Regardless of one’s political persuasion, occupation, and socioeconomic position, this article illustrates the implications of various reforms that are on the congressional agenda, Cohen noted.

Rambur notes that modern nursing includes care coordination and redesign, management and use of data as a tool to guide action and appreciation of financial and quality metrics that drive revenue needed to deliver care, making it critical that nurses understand all facets of health care policy reform.

“Nurses’ thoughtful analysis of the issues and communication with members of Congress could be important in explaining the impact of the federal laws and proposals on patients and quality of care,” Rambur explained.