Response to classmate-Identify three major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United States

Response to classmate-Identify three major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United States

QUESTION- Identify three major policy issues that affect the current state of health care delivery and population health equity in the United States. What impact do these population health policies and initiatives have on advanced nursing practice?        


RESPONSE: Topic 7 DQ 1- Joseph

Three ongoing healthcare policy issues are the attempted repeal of Affordable Care Act (ACA), the legalization of medicinal marijuana, and masking mandates during a pandemic. The ACA brought healthcare to at risk populations who previously had little or no possibility of coverage. It also encouraged many programs and incentives for the utilization of advanced nurses in primary care to reduce costs and increase access. Obvious, a successful repeal of this legislation would again make healthcare inaccessible to patients whom cannot afford insurance, and reverse many cost-saving measures in healthcare.

The use of medicinal marijuana can help many patients suffering from a variety of ailments, and with its growing adoption, more uses are being implemented. The benefits to some patients of using marijuana to manage disease or pain are plentiful, and the risks are sometimes far lower than conventional medications. The legalization of marijuana gives advanced nurses more tools to treat patients with. Finally, the mandating of mask wearing during a pandemic is particularly controversial. Some people feel that the requirement of wearing a mask infringes upon their freedoms, and others dismiss the benefits of mask wearing all together. The data shows that counties that instituted mask wearing and quarantine for greater than 59 days were 43% less likely to see a large growth in Covid-19 (Dasguta, et al., 2021). The largest argument is whether mandating masks is the government’s role, as opposed to a personal choice. Advanced nurses are greatly affected by these mandates, as they seem to be successful at slowing the spread of disease, while presenting a large challenge to seeing patients in clinic in person. There is also the highlighted education deficit on mask wearing that is now evident in much of the population.



Dasguta, S., Kassem, A., Sunshine, G., Liu, T., Rose, C., Kang, G., . . . Rao, C. (2021). Differences in rapid increases in county-level COVID-19 incidence by implementation of statewide closures and mask mandates – United States, June 1-September 30, 2020. Annals of epidemiology. doi:








ACA was enacted with the main aim of increasing health coverage and access to affordable care. With the country facing a significant recession, repealing of ACA would have a negative impact on health. Approximately 27 million individuals would lose their health insurance while about 54 million Americans with preexisting medical conditions are likely to be left uninsured. Repealing this policy would also be a major blow for individuals who lost their jobs and were expected to enroll in Medicaid and marketplace plans. this would make healthcare inaccessible to many low and middle-income families, (The Commonwealth Fund, 2021).

Marijuana has been used in different parts of the world for medical purposes since its medicinal potential was discovered in 2900 BC. Although illegal in some countries, its use has been legalized in other countries including the US, where over 25 states have legalized its medical application and have been used to treat various conditions such as terminal illnesses, epilepsy, and Crohn’s disease. The benefits of medical marijuana include relief of chronic pain, alleviates anxiety, and reduces the use of prescription drugs. it also has fewer side effects compared to normal painkillers and improves the patient’s overall feelings. By legalizing marijuana advanced nurse practitioners, will access more treatment options and will be able to effectively manage pain in patients improving patient outcomes, (Pacula & Smart, 2017).

Following the recommendation to wear masks, the mask-wearing mandate has caused a political debate as to whether it is an encroachment and overreach of the government into freedom. Those against mask-wearing mandates argue that the mandate sacrifices individual liberty for the notion of achieving a greater good. By use of coercive power to compel people to wear masks states interfere with the choices of an individual and hence the freedom. Advanced nurse practitioners are affected by this policy since masks have been shown to alter infection rates, hence reducing the number of individuals seeking medical care at healthcare facilities, (Jacobs & Ohinmaa, 2020).



Jacobs, P., & Ohinmaa, A. P. (2020). The enforcement of statewide mask wearing mandates to prevent COVID-19 in the US: an overview. F1000Research9.


Pacula, R. L., & Smart, R. (2017). Medical marijuana and marijuana legalization. Annual review of clinical psychology13, 397-419.


The Commonwealth Fund, (2021) Repealing the Affordable Care Act Just When People Need It Most Retrieved from: