Thursday, November 10, 2016

American Healthcare is in Jeopardy

Healthcare is on the front burner in American politics. The new regime has promised to overturn the ACA (Affordable Care Act) aka "Obamacare," something that has been tried many times since it became law and has failed. This time it might not. And they have assured us they intend to act swiftly. We need to act now!!

What are the consequences?
It is TERRIFYING to think that the action may be taken without a thought or care as to what to do after the fact.  Suddenly literally Millions of Americans could find themselves without ANY health insurance and NO options.

For years the Republican party has shouted they have a better plan and idea, but never once have they brought forth any ideas for change except to dump it all together despite multiple invitations from President Obama. NOW is the time to speak up and make a better plan.

The ACA is not perfect
It was never a clean bill. For one thing it is cluttered with so many extraneous attachments that have nothing to do with healthcare whatsoever. The bill is over 900 pages and really only about 100 pages actually pertain to the ACA.

It was flawed bill from the beginning particularly when no restraints were placed on insurance companies to continue to gouge employers, individuals, and pay providers intentionally minute payments. The business of health insurance was basically untouched. The CEOs still receive enormous salaries and bonuses and the insurance companies have done their best to build a maze to confuse and frustrate!!! There were better options, but they were defeated.
On a personal note: my ACA policy's rates continue to rise exponentially every year. BUT despite that, the alternative would absolutely bankrupt me if I had to once again pay out of pocket just for medications for my family member. I'm STILL paying the credit card bills from several years of no insurance due to the preexisting conditions  that the ACA eliminated.
Another complication stems from basing premiums on the number of insured in a particular plan. There are simply too many plans and not enough people in each one to keep the costs down!! The process must be simplified without sacrificing options. The healthy don't need to have the same plan as someone with multiple conditions and medications, but neither needs to be penalized. It can be done. There just needs to be care and consideration of consequences and an effort to work together for the best for all Americans!!

Healthcare is NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE!! 
It should not be treated as an "Us vs Them" matter. We have to get real about this. Bullying has NO place! There are so many new illnesses and viruses and challenges facing us every year in addition to the fact that we have an aging population with a whole different set of challenges. We are ALL affected equally. And no one is immune.

Despite it's problems, the ACA has afforded millions more Americans with some form of healthcare and saved so very many from needless
suffering and death with medications and treatments they otherwise had no access to or means to afford. More children than ever before have access to wellness and preventative care to set them on the right foot towards long, healthy lives.

We are not a 3rd world country! We need to fight to remain a world leader and to retain respect especially in the global economy and healthcare realms. We can't do that if we don't take care of our own!!

Healthcare Professionals Need to Unite and Educate
As healthcare professionals we need to stand together and fight for a better plan for all Americans; not to eliminate it all together. We need to be bold enough to demand insurance companies provide affordable options and assistance to everyone and reasonable payments to providers.

Most importantly, we need to contact our legislators (most of whom remain from the previous term) and make them aware of the measure of crisis they can create if the abolish the ACA with wild abandonment and don't make provisions. Better yet, work together as a TEAM and fix the ACA. We cannot return to having more than half of our population without healthcare. It's simple Email or Call your legislators today!


PREVENTION Lowers Risks and Costs
As nurses we are charged with the most important role of patient education. When 50% of the population doesn't understand enough about their own health status, needs, prevention and care we have to step up to the plate and educate them.

By improving the process of PREVENTION and lowering the RISKS, we help to lower the overall costs. If we deny Americans access again, the RISKS will rise again and only drive costs higher and higher. NONE of us can afford that!!!



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