Diane Black is a register nurse who represents Tennessee in Congress. Mrs. Black was the first woman to chair the influential House Budget Committee. She serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and was quick to establish herself as a leader. She is focused on dismantling the president’s health care law and advancing true market-based, patient-centered reforms that will bring down the rising cost of care by increasing private sector competition and consumer choice.Her goal was to reform the U.S. tax code which has not been initiated in over twenty five years. She was selected to chair the Ways and Means Education and Family Benefits Tax Reform Working Group during the 113th Congress. During her career as a nurse, she saw a loophole in the Patient Protection and Affordable Act (PPACA)that allowed some higher paid middle class Americans to receive Medicaid benefits. She pointed out that the PPACA, unintentionally, would allow a couple who made close to $60,000 in income to qualify to receive Medicaid benefits. This loophole would allow for individuals whose incomes were up four hundred percent of the federal poverty level to also qualify to receive Medicaid benefits. The PPACA set a new income formula to calculate the income levels and make the determination for Medicaid eligibility. This formula did not include incomes received from all Social Security benefits including Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and public housing. After her election to Tennessee representative, Mrs. Black started lobbying to change the bill H.R 2576. She made her claim that Medicaid should only be used for those who are in the most need and Medicaid needed to get back in line with all other public assistance. Mrs. Black made her claim to Congress that by passing her bill that America would save $13 billion dollars over ten years. She made it clear that they would be saving this money without taking away any benefits from anyone who currently has Medicaid. Mrs. Black’s bill was passed and signed into law. She was the first member of Congress to have legislation signed into law that repeals the health care provision in Obamacare.
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Congresswoman Mrs. Deb Soholt is some of the current nurses who are currently serving in Congress. Mrs. Deb Soholt is an RN and also a senator in South Dakota (American Nurses Association, 2015). She is a Senate for South Dacota congressional District 14 before joining politics.
She had sponsored several bills that have influenced health care. For example, “the Senate Bill 61 is to update, revise, and repeal certain provisions relating to nurse practitioners and nurse midwives” (South Dakota Legislature, n.d.). The bill can help redefine the role and function of nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to change the health care delivery and resolve the health provider shortage. Health care can be more accessible and affordable.
The nurse role gives the legislators the ability to understand and recognize nursing and health care issues. Therefore, the legislators who are also nurses can use the political power to alter and guide the direction of health care delivery in an optimal way. Health policies at the state level impact the health and safety of the state’s residents, as well as lead the nursing and other health professions’ scope, practice, and performance through the state’s professional practice acts (Cherry & Jacob, 2016) “The federal government’s role in health care includes significant funding for health and disease prevention and research; supplemental funding for education for health professionals, including nurses and physicians; and paying for individual health care services “(Cherry & Jacob, 2016, pg. 400). Therefore, the legislators in the federal level will focus on these categories to shape health care delivery.
She firmly believes that there is a strong need for more healthcare professionals in Congress. After all, health care is at the forefront of many political debates. Since she was the nurse, she sees the importance of having lawmakers with the healthcare background, that way the issues could better be addressed. In 2011 she was the first to engage in the debate on the Affordable Care Act.
The legislator that I consider to answer the above question is Erin Murphy. Murphy has a long career advocating on legislation related to health care and childcare issues. As a nurse, Murphy serves as state representative in the Minnesota of Representatives. The new elected representative participated on the Health and Human Services Finance Committee.
In that capacity, she was instrumental and active to help craft reforms to “Minnesota’s health care system that aimed to expand access to affordable coverage and care” (Diane, S., 2017). The legislator has worked on various health care reforms such as women’s health, affordable childcare, and expanding access to health care for school employees.
One of the bills that Murphy sponsored and supported is the “Health Care Homes.” This specific bill is part of a “statewide health care reform initiative” (2017). The legislation embraces and endorses a health care strategy that focuses primarily on prevention, self-management, and community services. This health care model guarantees better outcomes and quality of life people with chronic and acute health conditions.