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Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

Five million families and children will now sleep a little easier. How will the new Latino/Hispanic immigrant status impact healthcare policy?

Being “in the shadows” has long been a healthcare access issue.  The broken healthcare system has been aggravated by a broken immigration system. Immigration and healthcare are tied together in many ways, especially for the economically disadvantaged.

According to the New York Times:

What Is President Obama’s Immigration Plan?

President Obama announced on Thursday evening a series of executive actions to grant up to five million unauthorized immigrants protection from deportation. The president is also planning actions to direct law enforcement priorities toward criminals, allow high-skilled workers to move or change jobs more easily, and streamline visa and court procedures, among others. NOV. 20, 2014 RELATED ARTICLE

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Who could be affected?

The president’s plan is expected to affect up to five million of the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population, currently 11.4 million according to the Migration Policy Institute. It would create a new program of deferrals for approximately 3.7 undocumented parents of American citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for at least five years. Deferrals would include authorization to work and would be granted for three years at a time.

It would also expand a program created by the administration in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows young people who were brought into the country as children to apply for deportation deferrals and work permits. The plan would extend eligibility to people who entered the United States as children before January 2010 (the cutoff is currently June 15, 2007). It would also increase the deferral period to three years from two years and eliminate the requirement that applicants be under 31 years old. About 1.2 million young immigrants are currently eligible, and the new plan would expand eligibility to approximately 300,000 more.

It would not provide a path to full legal status or benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Officials have said that the president’s plan will not provide specific protection for farm workers or parents of DACA-eligible immigrants.

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Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Family Policy, Feminization of Poverty, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Immigration, Latinos, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, News, Public Health, Public Policy,

Gap in Diet Quality Between Wealthiest and Poorest Americans Doubles, Study Finds

Healthy food is not easy to prepare, does not have a very long shelf life, and is more expensive than cheaper canned and mass produced “food” that contains fillers and other ingredients that return adequate profits, facilitate transportation, refrigeration, and distribution.

America’s food consumption and health connection problem goes well beyond socioeconomic issues of lack of cash and proximity and access to healthy food.  Our society’s economy produces commodities and commodities are distributed based on market forces of supply and demand.  Supply and demand pressures have thus far overpowered the traditional forces on the side of promoting community health.  The loosing forces are:

  • Social do-gooders
  • Philanthropy
  • Public health officials
  • Conscientious parents
  • Suburban focused and lead prevention efforts

In short, economic forces have thus far trumped social ideas and groups aiming to undo what are basically the macro and micro consequences of food production and distribution.

Any successful efforts in this area will have to have for-profit corporations at the table with philanthropy and government officials providing public policy leadership and incentives that appeal to corporate America’s economic interests and social responsibility (good corporate citizen) commitments.

More via Gap in Diet Quality Between Wealthiest and Poorest Americans Doubles, Study Finds.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, News, Parenting, Philanthropy, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy

RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing | The information from the experts has been published. What are you and other community stakeholders doing about it?

Are you familiar with the RWJ report titled “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” by the Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Penn Medicine (University of Pennsylvania Health System)?

As we know, initiatives like the one that produced this report, as recent as 2011, come and go.  What remains is the report and what committed professional like yourself and our colleagues do with the information.

We at The Policy ThinkShop were inspired by a nurse colleague not only to pullout this report but to post a comment on our blog for your benefit.

The link to the report follows:

http://www.thefutureofnursing.org/sites/default/files/Future%20of%20Nursing%20Report_0.pdf

According to the report:

“In 2008, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) approached the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to propose a partnership to assess and respond to the need to transform the nursing profession. Recognizing that the nursing profession faces several challenges in fulfilling the promise of a reformed health care system and meeting the nation’s health needs, RWJF and the IOM established a 2-year Initiative on the Future of Nursing. The cornerstone of the initiative is this committee, which was tasked with producing a report containing recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing, including changes in public and institutional policies at the national, state, and local levels (Box S-1). Following the report’s release, the IOM and RWJF will host a national conference on November 30 and December 1, 2010, to begin a dialogue on how the report’s recommendations can be translated into action. The report will also serve as the basis for an extensive implementation phase to be facilitated by RWJF.”

The report explains the committee of experts charge in producing the study and report as follows:

The committee may examine and produce recommendations related to the following issues, with the goal of identifying vital roles for nurses in designing and implementing a more effective and efficient health care system:

  • Reconceptualizing the role of nurses within the context of the entire workforce, the shortage, societal issues, and current and future technology;
  • Expanding nursing faculty, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, and redesigning nursing education to assure that it can produce an adequate number of well prepared nurses able to meet current and future health care demands;
  • Examining innovative solutions related to care delivery and health professional education by focusing on nursing and the delivery of nursing services; and
  • Attracting and retaining well prepared nurses in multiple care settings, including acute, ambulatory, primary care, long term care, community and public health.

“In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation approached the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to propose a partnership between the two organizations. The resulting collaboration became the two-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the IOM. The committee was chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and the goal was to look at the possibility of transforming the nursing profession to meet the challenges of a changing health care landscape. The report produced by the committee, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, makes specific and directed recommendations in the areas of nurse training, education, professional …”

More on the initiative via About | RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Leadership, Maternal and Child Health, News, Philanthropy, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy,

What Is the Result of States Not Expanding Medicaid?

Half the country seems to be moving along with ACA reform and the other half are paying a price for not fully participating.  According to an Urban Institute report released this month, the nearly half of states that have not expanded medicaid under ACA implementation may have missed an important economic boost during these tough economic times.

“In the 24 states that have not expanded Medicaid, 6.7 million residents are projected to remain uninsured in 2016 as a result. These states are foregoing $423.6 billion in federal Medicaid funds from 2013 to 2022, which will lessen economic activity and job growth. Hospitals in these 24 states are also slated to lose a $167.8 billion (31 percent) boost in Medicaid funding that was originally intended to offset major cuts to their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.

A review of state-level fiscal studies found comprehensive analyses from 16 diverse states. Each analysis concluded that expansion helps state budgets. State savings and new state revenues exceeded increased state Medicaid expenses, with the federal government paying a high share of expansion costs. Even if future lawmakers reduce federal Medicaid spending, high federal matching rates are likely to remain at the ACA’s enhanced rates, given historic patterns. Facing bipartisan gubernatorial opposition, Congress lowered the federal share of Medicaid spending just once since 1980, while cutting Medicaid eligibility, services, and provider payments more than 100 times. Medicaid expansion thus offers significant state-level fiscal and economic benefits, along with increased health coverage.”

The Policy ThinkShop provides you with this link to the full report: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413192-What-is-the-Result-of-States-Not-Expanding-Medicaid.pdf

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, consumers, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform

Is your doctor happy? With Poll from: Gallup.Com

When you visit your doctor does (s)he look happy?  At the end of the day healthcare is a one on one personal experience.  All the insurance coverage or fancy machines in the world won’t improve medical care if the doctor patient relationship is not optimal.

So what is our healthcare system doing to address physician happiness?  The Gallup organization took a closer look at hospitals, one place where physician practice is defined and sustained–for better or for worse…

“When doctors are frustrated, patient care and hospital revenues suffer. Heres how hospitals can engage their physicians — and make a positive impact on patients and the bottom line.”

via Gallup.Com – Daily News, Polls, Public Opinion on Politics, Economy, Wellbeing, and World.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Cancer Treatment & Success, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, Medical Research, Medicare, New American Electorate, Polls and pollsters, Public Health

Find out how your state is doing on ACA implementation. Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute | Independent research for better health policy

One of the most important differences between states in their ACA implementation experience is each state’s policy perspective on the social safety net.  Some states tend to be more liberal regarding healthcare.  Others see all safety net issues the same–they don’t want to pay for them and they certainly don’t want to expand them.  The details of how each state is faring and the comparison between various states you may be interested in follows …

The Policy ThinkShop facilitates your access to the complete Policy Brief update on state comparisons of ACA implementation at:

http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/413129-Eligibility-for-Assistance-and-Projected-Changes-in-Coverage-Under-the-ACA-Variation-Across-States.pdf

 

“The authors estimate that in 2014, 56 percent of the uninsured became eligible for financial assistance with health insurance coverage through Medicaid, CHIP, or subsidized marketplace coverage.  In states that expanded Medicaid eligibility, 68 percent of the uninsured became eligible for assistance, compared with only 44 percent in states that did not.  Because of this difference in eligibility, the ACA is projected to reduce the number of uninsured people by 56 percent in states that expanded Medicaid, compared with only 34 percent in states that did not.  The authors also provide estimates of what would happen if states that have not yet expanded Medicaid were to do so. Read more …”

More via Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute | Independent research for better health policy.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform

Addressing Deep and Persistent Poverty: A Framework for Philanthropic Planning and Investment

Given the last decade of a deep and lingering economic downturn, mortgage failures, Wall Street scandals and scams that brought much misfortune to the otherwise fortunate, poverty is no longer a controversial topic that afflicts the few and shakes the policy corridors of Washington.  The new poverty, according to most experts, affects families and children, the hard to employ and many struggling families who face their at home kids’ college loan bills without the benefit of Jr.’s paycheck.

Perhaps now is a good “quiet and tranquil” time to study the issue of the less fortunate without the cacophony of stakeholder voices drowning out reason.  Perhaps now that Occupy this and that has all but disappeared, the issue of poverty can occupy the voices of reason …

To be sure, the JPB foundation and the Urban Institute have recently partnered to produce an intelligent overview and analytical tools for looking, not only at poverty, but at what they term “deep poverty.”

The Policy ThinkShop provides you with the following link at an article to peruse the issue or the following downloadable report which will give you a deeper look at the deep poverty issue:

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412983-addressing-deep-poverty.pdf

“The JPB Foundation engaged the Urban Institute to provide background on the problem of deep and persistent poverty in the United States. This paper summarizes the history of US antipoverty policies, synthesizes existing knowledge about poverty and deep poverty, and presents a framework for understanding the complex and multi-faceted landscape of antipoverty efforts today. It also draws on interviews with over 30 experts, philanthropists, and thought leaders in the field to review and distill the most current thinking about promising strategies for tackling deep and persistent poverty. Drawing on these facts and insights, we present a series of questions and choices that any foundation wishing to invest in this area would be well-advised to consider.”

More via Addressing Deep and Persistent Poverty: A Framework for Philanthropic Planning and Investment.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, access to education, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Feminization of Poverty, Medicaid Expansion, News, Public Policy

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