C) The 1619 Project made reference to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Bureau of Freedmen). What other 2-3 federal healthcare related policies have been enacted by the U.S. government since 1865 to 2010? Which of those policies have been most successful?
The United States government has enacted several federal healthcare policies from 1865 to 2010 for the benefit of the American people. While I believe the Affordable Care Act is one of the most effective policies to enact this legislation, it consistently receives great media and national attention. Therefore I am going to focus on the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, and the Health Insurance and Accountability Act of 1996 as both of these pieces of legislation have had a profound impact on the American healthcare system. The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act seeks to protect healthcare workers who report unsafe and dangerous conditions. The law also encourages legislators to resort to medical errors while maintaining patient confidentiality. Lastly, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act established the Network of Patient Safety Databases. This Database provides evidence-based resources for providers and other entities, allowing for the analyzes of national and regional statistics. This is especially important for minority communities as this system produces data on people of color that would otherwise go unreported. For example, the Seattle Children’s Hospital leveraged its electronic health record to make drastic improvements in opioid-free surgery and reduced analgesic medication costs. This significant progress was only successful because of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act, which continues to protect American citizens and health workers. For this reason, I believe the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act has been most successful as it directly affects how data is organized, reported, and influences our American healthcare system.
The second piece of legislation, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is also an important healthcare policy. The Healthcare Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 allows American workers to carry healthcare policies from job to job. This legislation also ensures that insurers do not discriminate against policy applicants due to health problems. With the recent coronavirus pandemic, the Healthcare Portability and Accountability Act has become especially important. The CARES Act creates a paper trail for one’s health status throughout their lives, as a direct violation of the HIPAA. As a result, Health and Human Services issued a statement outlining that only family members of a patient are allowed to receive information about the sick patient. Even though the coronavirus has resulted in some leeway, the HIPPA continues to protect patient privacy. In conclusion, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 are two critical pieces of legislation that had a profound impact on the American healthcare system.