Assignment: Legislation Comparison Grid And Testimony/Advocacy Statement

NRSE 6050 Assignment: Legislation Comparison Grid And Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Assignment: Legislation Comparison Grid And Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Click here to ORDER NOW FOR AN ORIGINAL PAPER!!! Assignment: Legislation Comparison Grid And Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Nurses experience events and situations that motivate them to assume the advocacy role in hopes of influencing policies, regulations, and laws related to healthcare and care provision. To do so, they have to enter into the less familiar political and policy making spheres to demonstrate their interests by evaluating proposed bills and their overall effects on the target health populations, the nursing profession and the healthcare industry at large. The purpose of this assignment is to review a selected health-related bill that has been proposed in Congress and complete the Legislation Grid Template to determine its intent, proponents and opponents, the target population and issue an advocacy statement or testimony.

Commentary on Legislation/Advocacy Statement

One of the administration’s primary aims has been to improve access to healthcare. The cost of universal healthcare, on the other hand, is unfathomable. There are several health-care programs available. Throughout American history, numerous administrations have made universal healthcare a priority. Successive administrations have worked to improve access to high-quality healthcare services, universal coverage, particularly for vulnerable communities, and healthcare knowledge. The H.R.1390 – Mobile Health Record Act of 2019 seeks to improve individual access to healthcare information by promoting the use of cutting-edge technologies. According to the review conducted by Dameff, Clay, and Longhurst (2019), the mobile health records platform has yet to demonstrate that it is usable, scalable, sustainable, and capable of improving health outcomes and delivery.

The main question is whether the platform can improve treatment outcomes while also lowering costs and maintaining service quality through the sharing of personal health information. NURS 6050 Sample Testimony/Advocate Statement and Law Comparison Grid If the same goal is met, individuals’ ability to make informed medical decisions about their healthcare use will improve, as will patient engagement in decision-making.

Opposition to this act is understandable given the technology’s unproven effectiveness in improving access and quality of care services. Electronic health records, according to Bouayad, Ialynytchev, and Padmanabhan (2017), have greatly increased quality and reduced errors, which can be used to alleviate such concerns. By increasing information sharing between patients and healthcare professionals, the recommended platform can provide the same service.

Mobile patient health information systems, like other information technologies used in healthcare, raise ethical concerns about the security of this information and the protection of individual privacy rights. According to Bouri and Ravi (2014), the involvement of third-party vendors, who may acquire or retain patient information for purposes unrelated to the individual’s care, exacerbates such issues. Any legislative amendments must clearly state the responsibility, access rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the parties involved in the entry, storage, and transfer of patient information.


Mobile Health Record Act of 2019: All Information (Except Text) for H.R.1390 (2019). Retrieved

Bouri, N., & Ravi, S. (2014). Going mobile: How mobile personal health records can enhance emergency medical care 2(1), e8 JMIR mHealth and uHealth.

Bouayad, L., Ialynytchev, A., & Padmanabhan, B. (2017). Scope and functionality of patient health record systems: A literature review and future directions 19(11):e388 in Journal of Medical Internet Research.

C. Dameff, B. Clay, and C. A. Longhurst (2019). Individual Health Records: More Promising in the Era of Smartphones? JAMA, 321(4):339–340. NURS 6050 Legislation Comparison Matrix and Example of Testimony or Advocacy Statement.

As a nurse, how often have you thought to yourself, If I had anything to do about it, things would work a little differently? Increasingly, nurses are beginning to realize that they do, in fact, have a role and a voice.

Many nurses encounter daily experiences that motivate them to take on an advocacy role in hopes of impacting policies, laws, or regulations that impact healthcare issues of

interest. Of course, doing so means entering the less familiar world of policy and politics. While many nurses do not initially feel prepared to operate in this space effectively, the reward is the opportunity to shape and influence future health policy.

Hi Dawn,

I enjoyed reading your post and just like you, I had to do more research about the ACA and the reason behind why it was so controversial.  The ACA was able to make healthcare available to many families that could not afford health insurance.  The ACA helped people with pre-existing conditions get insurance, as well as improved access to prescription meds and children to stay on their parent’s insurance plan till the age of 26 (Gaille, 2017).

However, the author also points out some negative points that made many people dislike the ACA.  There were mandates placed on individuals to either have insurance or pay fines.  There were mandates that were placed on businesses as well, which required any business with more than 50 full-time employees, to either offer insurance or make payments to cover healthcare expenses.  To avoid this many businesses cut employee hours to part-time and this hurt many families (Gaille, 2017).

The author pointed out that there are many pros and cons to the ACA, and they need to be considered in detail before any talks of repeal or replacement can begin (Gaille 2017).



Gaille, L. (2017, February 14). 17 foremost Affordable Care Act Pros and Cons. Retrieved September 17, 2022, from

To Prepare:

  • Select a bill that has been proposed (not one that has been enacted) using the congressional websites provided in the Learning Resources.

The Assignment: (1- to 2-page Comparison Grid; 1- to 2-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement)

Part 2: Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Based on the health-related bill you selected, develop a 1- to 2-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement that addresses the following:

  1. Advocate a position for the bill you selected and write testimony in support of your position.
  2. Describe how you would address the opponent to your position. Be specific and provide examples.
  3. Recommend at least one amendment to the bill in support of your position.

Part 1: Legislation Comparison Grid

Based on the health-related bill (proposed, not enacted) you selected, complete the Legislation Comparison Grid Template. Be sure to address the following:

  1. Determine the legislative intent of the bill you have reviewed.
  2. Identify the proponents/opponents of the bill.
  3. Identify the target populations addressed by the bill.
  4. Where in the process is the bill currently? Is it in hearings or committees?
  5. Is it receiving press coverage?

Legislation Grid Template

Federal or State? The bill is a state bill. It seeks to ensure that all the states adopt the bill to ensure that healthcare providers can afford the care that their children and elderly need. The bill aims to enhance the affordability, accessibility, and availability of the care that those dependent on healthcare providers need.
Legislative Intent The Helping Healthcare Workers Afford Child and Elder Care Act primarily targets the state’s vital employees. The measure defines essential workers as health-sector personnel, sanitation workers, employees unable to telecommute, emergency responders, and employees of firms required to remain open during public emergencies. According to the bill, an increase in funds is necessary for the measure to achieve its purpose. The states are required to contribute $500,000 for the 2020 fiscal year. These monies are designated for the provision of child care services for essential workers, as well as day care services and adult protection services for household members or dependents of essential workers who require healthcare services. The monies are suggested to reimburse critical workers for expenses paid in obtaining services, such as emergency care services and child care services, for the dependent children and elderly. The eligibility of youngsters and the elderly for the funding shall not be based on a test of financial need (Shaheen, 2020).
Proponents/ Opponents Proponents: Currently, five senators have co-sponsored the bill. The senators include Baldwin Tammy, Hassan Margaret Wood, Harris Kamala, Reed Jack, and Durbin Richard. According to the proponents of the bill, the bill will increase the access to care by the dependents of the health care workers. The bill will also lessen the burden of the disease to the healthcare workers. Through it, the health care workers will be assured of the support from the state on matters of health affecting their significant others.

Opponents: The bill currently does not have opponents for its implementation. However, it is anticipated that the bill will face some opposition from arguments that the existing health acts such as the Affordable Care Act addresses the needs of the elderly and children in different states. The bill might also face some resistance against its implementation due to the current huge wage bill in most of the states.

Target Population The target population for the bill comprises mainly of the children and elderly who depend on essential workers.

Status of the bill (Is it in hearings or committees?) The bill is currently on the hearing stage.

Hello Mackenzie

you mentioned that the goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide more people with affordable health care insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a controversial topic in the United States (US). According to Associate Professor Joel Teitelbaum, oppositions to the ACA is manifest with the evidence of the law been passed without Republicans signatures from the starting point and with ongoing disapprovals among Republican governors or legislatures who actively challenge or ignore the ACA in about half of the US States since its implementation (Laureate Education, 2018). In 2017, we could have expected Republicans to carry out their promise to shut down the ACA, for they gained control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. In this regard, Feldstein (2006)’s cost-benefit analysis could explain perceived competing interests behind unsuccessful efforts at repealing/replacing the ACA to this date. This law was also aimed at supporting different health care avenues to decrease the overall costs of health care.

Legislators will support the repeal/repair of the ACA if the cost-benefit outcome is in their favor. According to Feldstein (2006), when the benefit to legislators (positive political support) exceeds their costs (negative political support) they will support legislation. The American public is strongly divided about how to finance health care in the country (Milstead & Short, 2019).



Affordable Care Act (ACA), (n.d.). Retrieved from

Feldstein, P. (2006). The politics of health legislation: An economic perspective (3rd ed.).

Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press

Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6 ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Danielle White

General Notes/Comments

The Health Care Workers Afford Child and Elder Care Act is a critical piece of legislation that should be implemented by all states across the country. The bill aims to reduce the burden of a disease on essential workers’ health care needs. Essential workers play an important role in promoting the health of diverse populations. The ability to provide high-quality care to vulnerable populations is heavily dependent on how their actual and potential needs as human beings are met. The bill aims to improve the mental health and well-being of essential workers by ensuring state support for their dependents’ healthcare needs. It is expected that health care workers will be highly motivated to engage in activities that promote the general population’s health and well-being as a result of it. Legislative interventions that address the critical needs of healthcare providers, according to Niles (2019), are critical in promoting their motivation to provide care to others. It is expected that the proposed bill will motivate essential workers to provide innovative and evidence-based care to their populations (Milstead, 2019; Olusegun & Tinuke, 2020). As a result, I support its implementation in states to address the needs of healthcare providers in supporting their families. One of the interventions I plan to use to address the opponents of my position is to emphasize the critical role that healthcare workers play in our country. For example, I will use the effects of Covid19 on the population and healthcare workers to make the bill more relevant in terms of meeting the needs of essential workers. I will also use human resource management principles such as employee development to address bill opponents. For example, I will argue that enacting the bill will motivate health-care workers, thereby promoting the health and well-being of the entire population. Finally, I will cite evidence from evidence-based studies and countries that have previously implemented similar acts.

Crawshaw, J., Budhwar, P., & Davis, A. (2020). Human Resource Management: Strategic and International Perspectives. SAGE.
Milstead, J. A. (2019). Health Policy and Politics: A Nurse’s Guide. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Niles, N. J. (2019). Basic Concepts of Health Care Human Resource Management. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Olusegun, A., Sulaiman, & Tinuke, F. (2020). Human Resource Management Practices for Promoting Sustainability. IGI Global.
Shaheen, J. (2020, March 22). S.3567 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Helping Health Care Workers Afford Child and Elder Care Act (2019/2020) [Webpage].

Politics and the Affordable Care Act  

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Servies (2022) the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has 3 primary goals-  

  1. 1. Make affordable health insurance available to more people.  
  1. 2. Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the FPL. Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs. 
  1. 3. Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally. 

The ACA has been challenged in federal and state courts nearly 2,000 times since it was first put into place in 2010 (Pitsor, 2021). In 2017 if the Affordable Care Act was repealed long-term, it would cost approximately $350 billion under conventional scoring and $150 billion using dynamic scoring through 2027 (Daniel, 2017). If ACA was repealed it would save $1.55 trillion but also end health coverage for more than 20 million Americans which makes the ACA a central topic during elections. Politicians’ goal is to be re-elected and that guides their stance on current legislative topics. The ACA has been heavily criticized, argued, discussed, and has created further divisions in politics. To a large population in the United States, it is not a matter of how much will this cost the government but a true concern for losing healthcare coverage for themselves and their family. Conservatives have been against the ACA since day 1 due to the increase it causes in insurance premiums and costs to the government. Since 2010 when the ACA was introduced, the republican party has focused on how much it cost and centered their argument for replace/repeal around that. Instead of acknowledging the coverage and the lessened health care gaps that the ACA provides. For republican politicians who are looking at the issue from a monetary viewpoint, repealing the ACA is the best choice due to the high amount of savings. From a democratic perspective, the number of uninsured individuals outweighs the savings, and the cost of the ACA is worth it. Public opinion on the ACA has shifted as well- 55% of the public has a favorable opinion (Montero, 2022) which has already influenced how many politicians stand for the ACA and increased the number of republicans who are no longer fighting to repeal the ACA. Healthcare is a complex and highly politicized topic; it will be on agendas and discussed for the foreseeable future. If politicians are going to continue being involved and influential in healthcare, they also need to take the time to be better informed instead of holding whichever stance will gain them more votes. Decisions in healthcare that affect millions of people should not be made with the intention of gaining votes.  


Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA). (2022, March 15). About the ACA. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from

Daniel, M. (2017). The cost of full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from

Jack Pitsor, A. G. (n.d.). Legal cases and state legislative actions related to the ACA. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from


Montero,A. (2022, April 14). 5 charts about public opinion on the Affordable Care Act. KFF. Retrieved September 13, 2022,


By Day 7 of Week 4

Submit your completed legislation comparison grid and testimony/advocacy statement.

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Hello good morning. I just realize the order i placed yesterday.. the comparison template template is for a different assignment which i will order now… please follow the instructions on the first order. it should only be about two pages of an explanation for how you think the cost-benefit analysis in terms of legislators being reelected affected efforts to repeal/replace the ACA. Then, explain how analyses of the votes views may affect decisions by legislative leaders in recommending or positioning national policies

Part 2: Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Based on the health-related bill you selected, develop a 1- to 2-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement that addresses the following:

  • Advocate a position for the bill you selected and write testimony in support of your position.
  • Describe how you would address the opponent to your position. Be specific and provide examples.
  • Recommend at least one amendment to the bill in support of your position.
Post an explanation for how you think the cost-benefit analysis in the statement from page 27 of Feldstein (2006) affected efforts to repeal/replace the ACA. Then, explain how analyses such as the one portrayed by the Feldstein statement may affect decisions by legislative leaders in recommending or positioning national policies (e.g., Congress’ decisions impacting Medicare or Medicaid). Assignment: Legislation Comparison Grid And Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Based on the health-related bill you selected, complete the Legislation Comparison Grid Template. Be sure to address the following:

  • Determine the legislative intent of the bill you have reviewed.
  • Identify the proponents/opponents of the bill.
  • Identify the target populations addressed by the bill.
  • Where in the process is the bill currently? Is it in hearings or committees?
  • Is it receiving press coverage?

Thank you, Ayeshia, for your CBA of the repeal of the ACA.  Do you think the stigma of the nickname “Obamacare” contributes to its unpopularity with some voters and increases the drive of Republicans to repeal without a viable option to replace it with? You discussed the potential costs related to the Government budget, but the health costs to the population could be more catastrophic. With a repeal, 54 million people with conditions severe enough to be denied could be denied healthcare outright. (Abelson & Goodnough, 2020) Not to mention that if the ACA were to be repealed and previous systems were put in place, the number of uninsured Americans would increase by 19.9 million. (Blumberg et al., 2019) this is due to many Americans receiving coverage due to Medicaid expansion created by ACA; if it is repealed, that group of people no longer would be covered.  For the Government s budget, it does not make sense, as you pointed out. But also for the overall health and well-being of the population, it is not the best option. Yet many politicians are making repeated attempts to challenge the constitutionality of the ACA in court.


Abelson, R., & Goodnough, A. (2020, September 21). If the supreme court ends obamacare, here’s what it would mean. The New York Times.

Blumberg, L. J., Buettgens, M., Holahan, J., & Pan, C. (2019, March). State-by-state estimates of the coverage and funding consequences of full repeal of the aca [PDF]. Urban institute.

Legislators Influence On Health Care

            The Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or “ObamaCare”, was enacted in March 2010 by the Obama Administration. According to, the health care reform law has three primary goals; “make affordable health insurance available to more people, expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level, and support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally” (“Affordable Care Act (ACA)”, n.d.). This health care law was enacted in order to move towards the end goal of universal health care and provided as a right vs a privilege (Teitelbaum, 2018). According to Economic Policy Institute, approximately 29.8 million people would lose their health insurance and approximately 1.2 million would lose their jobs (“Repealing the ACA”, n.d.). With the repeal prospectively affecting that many Americans, you would assume this would play a large role in the legislative leader’s position in congress. We as a democracy, can influence those in the position to place laws and policies that impact our day to day lives. With the impact this repeal would have, I think it would be safe to say, the legislative leaders would have to rebuttal in order to save face and protect their position within congress. Once legislators found how many Americans would be affected by the repeal, the Trump Administration proposed the Better Care Reconciliation Act in 2017. This act would provide more help to cover out-of-pocket costs, health savings accounts, allocating additional resources to combat the opioid epidemic, providing more options for Americans to buy lower premium plans, as well as tax and Medicaid revisions (Senate Budget Committee, 2017). By providing these alterations to the Affordable Care Act, I feel that the legislative leaders were able to secure their position in congress and I can only hope their intentions are to continue to implement laws, policies and acts to better American lives across the nation.


Discussion draft – better care reconciliation act (BCRA). U.S. Senate Committee On The Budget. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2021, from (n.d.). Affordable care act (ACA). Affordable Care Act ACA. Retrieved December 13, 2021, from

How would repealing the Affordable Care Act Affect Health Care and jobs in your state? Economic Policy Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2021, from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Introduction to Health Policy and Law with Joel Teitelbaum [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

1 Milstead, J. A., & Short, N. M. (2019). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (6th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

  • Chapter 3, “Government Response: Legislation” (pp. 37–56)
  • Chapter 10, “Overview: The Economics and Finance of Health Care” (pp. 180–183 only)


3 Taylor, D., Olshansky, E., Fugate-Woods, N., Johnson-Mallard, V., Safriet, B. J., & Hagan, T. (2017). Corrigendum to position statement: Political interference in sexual and reproductive health research and health professional education. Nursing Outlook, 65(2), 346–350. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2017.05.003

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.




Testimony/Advocacy Statement

            Good afternoon.  My name is Erin Littlepage, and today I will be discussing the importance of passing the H.R.4769 bill, also known as the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2019.  Compared to other highly developed countries with decent healthcare, the United States has substantially higher prices for the cost of drugs.  There are many bills that have been introduced to the House of Representatives in order to combat these high prices that we as Americans face every day, and the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2019 bill is especially important.

Under the current administration, as of December 18, 2019, Donald Trump has announced plans to allow states to purchase prescription medications from Canada to help lower the costs of Americans purchasing their medications.   The fact that our medications are so expensive, we must go to another country to purchase prescription drugs is a disturbing fact.  However, if the plan goes into action, the Medicare expenses will be lowered from state to state which would be a huge push in the right direction of lowering our prescription drug costs (Williams, 2019).

There are opponents to the bill, unfortunately.  Large drug companies must increase the prices of medications in order to make a profit for themselves.  This does not benefit the American consumer, however.  So many Americans fail to take their medications as prescribed by their provider because they do not have the money to pay for them.  I have worked on Medical Surgical units for my entire nursing career, and the amount of admissions and readmissions based on the mere fact that the patient cannot afford their drugs, and come in with acute symptoms that could be regulated with medication administration, is astounding.  While it appears as if the pharmaceutical companies will just continue increasing their drug prices, I think the only way to address these opponents is to have this bill and other bills related to drug pricing passed to Congress and have them take strong action to manage the issue.

An amendment I would propose in regard to this bill, is laid out in the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation act, which would allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices for drugs under Medicare.  This in turn, would lower drug prices.  Currently, the secretary of HHS is not permitted to negotiate on pricing so they must accept the numbers given by the pharmaceutical company.

In conclusion, the high prices of medications will continue to be an issue nationwide as long as Congress sits back and allows pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of innocent Americans.  The Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2019 will allow the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to keep pricing reasonable for drugs and offer alternatives medications that are of equal value, but of lower price.  These companies have time and time again shown their greed, and that a profit is more important than the life of American citizens.  This issue is long overdue to be solved and will continue until Congress takes a stand, starting with the passing of this bill and others related to the issue.


Pear, R. (2018, October 25). Trump Proposes to Lower Drug Prices by Basing Them on Other Countries’ Costs. Retrieved December 20, 2019, from

Prescription drug prices rising despite Trump pressure on Big Pharma. (2018, September 24). Retrieved December 20, 2019, from

Schakowsky, J. D. (2019, October 21). H.R.4769 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2019. Retrieved from{“search”:[“prescription+drugs”]}&s=7&r=5.

Williams, L. (2019, December 18). Trump Plan Would Allow States To Buy Cheaper Prescription Drugs From Canada. Retrieved December 20, 2019, from

An Introduction to Health Policy and Law Program Transcript

JOEL TEITELBAUM: Politics plays a huge role in the development and implementation of health policy.

NARRATOR: Joel Teitelbaum is the associate professor and vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University. He’s also the school’s director of the Hirsch Health Law and Policy program. Professor Teitelbaum co-authored The Essentials of Health Policy and Law for students studying law and policy as a component of their public health studies.

As a university professor and an academic lawyer, Joel has influenced health policy and the policymaking process.

JOEL TEITELBAUM: Two of the three branches of government are by intent by design political. So the executive branch and the legislative branch, the two branches of government that are tasked with designing and implementing health policy and laws, are by their design political, because we elect them. They’re imbued with power as a result of federal and state elections.

So you from that starting point, you have to understand that anything that goes in the policy making and the legal process is going to be political. The Affordable Care Act, for example, passed without any Republicans signatures. And you can see, after it was passed and it’s being implemented that fully half of the states, most of them led by either Republican governors or legislatures, are actively challenging or ignoring the law.

So it’s clear that obviously politics is playing a very important role in both the design at the outset and now the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Over the past century or so, there have been many examples of important health policies that have really changed the delivery of public health services in this country. I think a good starting point is with the Public Health Service Act in 1944, which at that point consolidated a lot of the health policies that were in existence and greatly expanded the role of the Public Health Service.

From there, you can look to the 1960s when we had the passage of Medicare and Medicaid, which of course gave health insurance and really did a lot to improve the public health for the elderly and for the disadvantaged and poor. The Community Health Center program, which has really influenced public health, was passed in 1965, was when the first health center opened.

From there, you can look at the Affordable Care Act of course in 2010. I think the Affordable Care Act has very much influenced the notion of health care as either a right or a privilege. I think it has taken us further away from the idea of health care as a privilege and closer to the idea of health care as a right. Now, the way that the Affordable Care Act mainly did this was through the creation and the regulation of new health insurance markets.

And there is clearly not a one to one correlation between having health insurance and health care as a right, because even with health insurance, there’s no guarantee that someone will get quality health care or any health care at all if they can’t access it. But I do you think that the Affordable Care Act has played a large role in helping the country move toward understanding that what it means to have an equitable and fair health care system means having access to insurance which then in many cases will then lead you to health care access.

Even after implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there’s going to be 10s of millions of people without insurance. So the idea that we’re somehow close even to universal insurance leading towards a right is still pretty far away. My experience in influencing health policy I think I can talk about in two different ways.

The first is what I have learned about what it means to be a health policy advocate or influential health policy maker or someone who can help influence the design of health policy. Broadly speaking, I think you have to have a lot of stamina, you have to be a very good team player understand that no one individual given the multifaceted nature of health policy making can have as great an influence as they can if they’re working with, say, lawyers and economists and others. I think you have to have a fertile political environment, because again, as we’ve seen, something like the Affordable Care Act barely even passed even though it is something we’ve been working toward for many, many decades in this country.

In terms of my own experience, my role in thinking about health policy and law and the research and teaching and writing that I’ve done has spanned several topical areas. I started off working on behavioral health care issues in law and policy– so substance abuse and mental health issues. That transformed into work around managed care law and policy, which then morphed into an interest that I brought the job which was health care civil rights, and after that into health care reform and implementation.

So along the way, I’ve been able I think to influence health policy in each one of those areas through articles, through presentations, I’ve testified before the DC council, I’ve written testimony for Congress. So there have been a lot of different ways I think as a university professor and as an academic lawyer that I’ve been able to influence the policy making process.

So what are some of the pearls and pitfalls of writing a health policy analysis? I’ll give you a handful. The first one is that you should not go into the writing a policy analysis with an outcome in mind. You’ve got to be open minded and be able to really take a look at what the data says, what the literature says, and be thinking creatively about what all the various options are, as opposed to going in with one outcome in mind.

The second thing is that the advice that you give, the final recommendation that you make to the policymaker, whoever that may be, has to be within that policymaker’s power to achieve. There’s no point in giving advice that there is no either political environment for or is within the power of the policymaker to actually carry out. Another one is that you have to address all sides of a policy issue.

When you’re writing a policy analysis, it’s not enough to look at two or three, even if they’re good, options. You have to address all sides of the issue. Otherwise, the policymaker won’t really be able to make an informed decision. You can’t be giving superficial advise. As the policy analyst, as the writer of a policy analysis, you have to be very well informed, oftentimes better informed than the policymaker him or herself.

It’s you they’re going to be relying on. And you have to be incredibly informed. So the giving of superficial advice is really something that you shouldn’t do in crafting a policy analysis. Oftentimes students forget in writing a policy analysis that giving the recommendation to do nothing is an option. In fact, it is an option.

So when what you’re doing is considering a policy question and thinking about what the options are, sometimes doing nothing, leaving things as they are, the status quo, is the best thing to do. A lot of times, students believe that they need to recommend a change just for change sake. I don’t think that’s always the best advice.