Politics? I need your help if you get it... cause i don't!


Has 6 years experience.

I am aboslutely struggling. I finished my BSN in 3 months. Now I started my MSN. The first course is Healthcare Policy, Organization, and Finance. I finished my first assignment which was creating a budget... wasn't all bad.

BUT>>>>>> now i have been sitting on this paper for 2 weeks. I feel absolutely clueless. I don't understand any of it, even after talking to my mentor.

Basically, If you understand politics and legislative bills I really really need to speak with you.

I have read this bill at least 20 times... but I don't understand it, and i don't understand how i am to write this paper with the information given.

If you have some free time to help me understand this I would greatly appreciate it!!

rocket surgery

137 Posts

Can you post a link to the bill? Is it a real bill that is currently being debated, or is it just a hypothetical bill your professor wants you to analyze?


Has 6 years experience. 462 Posts

rocket surgery, it is a real bill: http://thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1119:#

Basically, 1) I have to predict the econmic impact (e.g. costs, benfits, cost-containment on health care delivery.

2) evaluate how the equity of resource allocation

3) Disscuss impact on administrative resources

4) Discuss how the role of hte nurse could be impacted (kinda understand this one)

But for the rest.... I have read the bill but it doesn't say where i get the rest of the information. I feel like i have to make it up... i feel this is "my opinion" but I can't give my opinion because i don't understand it.

any advise!

rocket surgery

137 Posts

At this point, the bill is still in committee and it's nowhere near being voted on. There aren't going to be any easy answers to questions 1-3 because all those issues are exactly what's being researched and debated in committee.

So my guess is the purpose of the paper is for you to "make it all up" in a sense- Your Prof wants you to put on your critical thinking hat and try to imagine all the effects of this bill if it's passed. Since it's the first paper of your first course, I don't think your prof is expecting it to be 100% accurate.

The good thing is that your assignment tells you exactly how to frame your thoughts (Questions 1-4) and doesn't just say "Write an XX page paper on this bill and tell me how it relates to healthcare policy." See- that assignment would be much harder.

Unfortunately, I'm just a 1st semester BSN student so I don't know enough about healthcare policy to help you with the details. My 1st degree was in Finance and I got some legal experience with my Investments job. But there are a lot of super smart people on AN so I'm sure someone with more experience than me will have some great ideas. Good luck! :)

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 11 years experience. 1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Is it the one that establishes a National Nurse, sort of like how we have a Surgeon General as part of the President's Cabinet. Although, it doesn't look like it establishes a new cabinet position...

I suppose you could try skewing your paper to show that a National Nurse would elevate nursing practice by establishing federal standards and protocols for nurses with EBP. More standardization on the federal level, cost containment gained through standardization, the possibility of mandated safe staffing ratios on a federal level, etc.

Yep, it's totally your opinion. Think of a Super RN (complete with starched whites and RN emblazoned on the chest) and what he/she might do to make patient care and healthcare costs better.

Do I really think having another figurehead will solve anything or makes things easier or better for nurses in our patient care? Yes and no...but there will certainly be more paperwork to fulfill the brand new regulatory requirements that will follow the establishment of a Super RN position. ;) Administratively, there will have to be a warm body in every facility that is in charge of implementing the new requirements.


Has 6 years experience. 462 Posts

thanks rockette and dudette. You have enlightened me. It does make it difficult because it's really an opinion paper because it has yet to be established. Thanks again, Lisa

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 11,114 Posts

if you're in a mn program, you're going to be expected to think at a higher level about your profession. this is how it starts. congratulations! (mn, 1982)

This would be where I would begin looking for information about how to address those questions : http://nationalnurse.org/faq.pdf and their main site http://nationalnurse.org/ and http://nationalnurse.blogspot.com/ (Scroll down to last entry article on national debt)

Of course as you know this will be one sided information. Sometimes in politics it's difficult to find unbiased information, or truly honest juxtaposed pluses and minuses to any side of a debate lol. I haven't found a credible site that speaks negatively about this bill that doesn't speak uniformly negatively about every bill in congress. For me, when considering anything dealing with funding from a government entity, it's best to research thoroughly all angles of the subject and argue for and against the negative and positive aspects until you have convinced even yourself of which is best. That is the best way to make an effective argument for or against spending. If Benefit > or = to cost, than it's an excellent idea. If cost is > or = Benefit, the government will hesitate to move forward with it lol.

Resource allocation. Now that is fancy terms in congress now a days for "What do you plan to cut to pay for this?" and or "Exactly which tax do you plan on raising to get the funding for this" and or "Just who do you think is going to pay for this bright idea, Lady?" lol ... Thats the true heart of the argument right there to me. Especially in todays political climate.

A person in the medical profession might sit back and think "What could POSSIBLY be the drawbacks to prevention and promoting healthy lifestyles?" A lawyer (which most politicians are) can point out 50 off the top of their head, thats what they do. Argue both sides.

If it helps, for the purpose of your paper, imagine yourself in a committee hearing testifying as an expert as to your views about this particular piece of legislation. What would you say? How would you answer those questions you've been asked to write about if you were speaking into the microphone to the committee? Are you answers justified with facts and figures or are you just speaking passionately?

Now I'm rambling. This is why I need more sleep on the weekend. Best of luck to you on your paper! I'd be curious to see your argument once you've finished :)

*Edit* I would seriously consider taking the approach of paying for prevention being cheaper than paying for treatment. That would tug on the heartstrings of ANY congress person when you tell them they'll be saving money on the back end with regard to treatment. Also, with regard to what dudette10 points out, is more bureaucracy and paperwork (costs more $) going to fix anything or will it complicate matters worse? Thats a terrific viewpoint. *

Edited by Constantly Surprised