At the moment, the U.S. health care system needs fundamental reform than it has ever needed in the recent decades. There is a need for bold action that develops the system to be responsive to consumer needs and to provide equal and easy access to safe, high-quality healthcare for citizens in a cost effective manner. Moreover, there is a need to shift from healthcare that is focused primarily on disease to one that is more about wellness and prevention. Healthcare reform involves galvanizing leadership with a view to improving health. The prevention and Public Health Fund, as created under the Affordable Care Act provides for greater and constant country-wide investment in public health and prevention. The main issues that healthcare reform aims to deal with include making healthcare to be equal, of quality, affordable and accessible (ANA, 2008; French, 2009).
The nursing community, as represented by the American Nursing Association (ANA), has the role of articulating the health care reforms. ANA promotes the ideology that health care should be regarded as a basic human right and reaffirms its support for a health care system that is restructured to ensure universal access (ANA, 2008). For the delivery of health care to be fair, effective and affordable, medical institutions must have well-distributed, well-utilized, well-educated registered nurses in adequate supply. Nurses are crucial to the process of shifting to a wellness-oriented system of health care because they are the ones involved in the actual implementation of change. Nurses are now charged with the responsibility of determining how to strike the balance between community-based preventive services and high-tech treatment. This involves focusing primarily on primary care so as to avoid excessive costs in tertiary care (French, 2009).
ANA. (2008). ANA’s Health System Reform Agenda. American Nurses Association, 3(2), 1-19.
French, M. (2009). Shifting the Course of Our Nation’s Health: Prevention and Wellness as National Policy. American Public Health Association, 12(4), 3-15.