Healthcare has been a policy item and a topic of debate not only in recent times but as far back as the administration of the second U.S. president, John Adams. In 1798, Adams signed legislation requi

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Healthcare has been a policy item and a topic of debate not only in recent times but as far back as the administration of the second U.S. president, John Adams. In 1798, Adams signed legislation requiring that 20 cents per month of a sailor’s paycheck be set aside for covering their medical bills. This represented the first major piece of U.S. healthcare legislation, and the topic of healthcare has been woven into presidential agendas and political debate ever since.

As a healthcare professional, you may be called upon to provide expertise, guidance and/or opinions on healthcare matters as they are debated for inclusion into new policy. You may also be involved in planning new organizational policy and responses to changes in legislation. For all of these reasons you should be prepared to speak to national healthcare issues making the news.

In this Assignment, you will analyze recent presidential healthcare agendas. You will also prepare a fact sheet to communicate the importance of a healthcare issue and the impact on this issue of recent or proposed policy.


To Prepare:

  • Review the agenda priorities of the last three U.S. presidential administrations.
  • Select an issue related to healthcare that was addressed by each of the last three U.S. presidential administrations.
  • Reflect on the focus of their respective agendas, including the allocation of financial resources for addressing the healthcare issue you selected.
  • Consider how you would communicate the importance of a healthcare issue to a legislator/policymaker or a member of their staff for inclusion on an agenda.


The Assignment: (2- to 3-page Comparison Grid and 1-page Fact Sheet)


Part 1: Agenda Comparison Grid

Based on the presidential administrations you are comparing, complete the Agenda Comparison Grid. Be sure to address the following:

  • Identify and provide a brief description of the healthcare issue you selected.
  • Identify which administrative agency would most likely be responsible for helping you address the healthcare issue you selected.
  • How does the healthcare issue get on the agenda and how does it stay there?
  • Who was the entrepreneur/champion/sponsor of the healthcare issue you selected?


Part 2: Fact Sheet or Talking Points Brief

Based on your Agenda Comparison Grid for the healthcare issue you selected, develop a 1-page Fact Sheet or Talking Points Brief that you could use to communicate with a policymaker/legislator or a member of their staff for this healthcare issue. Be sure to address the following:

  • Summarize why this healthcare issue is important and should be included in the agenda for legislation.
  • Justify the role of the nurse in agenda setting for healthcare issues.
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