Why Nurses Support the Affordable Care Act

Known by its opponents as ‘Obamacare’ because the very words, ‘affordable care’ would explain why it is urgently needed.

I’m on an email list for medical professionals, just got this call to support affordable care. This is pretty much in sync with what we see and hear every day. Healthcare for private profit wastes resources and fails the public.

The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the ACA and the already compromised funding necessary to administer it remains in jeopardy. In short, the obstacles appear to be expanding. Given this situation, it would appear easier to just give up and not push Congressional Representatives to continue the fight against this onslaught. However, with the need so great, and with so much effort having been put forth by so many people, it would be a shame to give up now. Nurses need to continue to educate themselves about the ACA and the issues it is designed to address. It is my hope that by reviewing some of the legislation’s key areas for change that it will re-energize and reinforce the idea that as the battle rages on for reform, nurses must be involved to help sustain the positive momentum sparked by this new legislation.

And here’s a doctor on the subject…

As a practicing physician, I see investments in prevention and public health quite differently. Engaging in preventive care in my primary care practice allows for the early detection of disease, which eases the treatment of so many illnesses. Obtaining a mammogram, considered preventive care, allows for the early detection of breast cancers. Catching a breast cancer at its earliest stage allows for a cure, whereas detecting breast cancer at a late stage often means engaging in chemotherapy and radiation in an effort to extend survival without hope for a cure.

But we are not just talking about funding prevention at the individual level. We need to shift the focus of our health care system from one that only treats disease, to a more sensible system that prevents disease and encourages wellness.

Another world is possible, where the public good is valued by enough Americans to influence our vote, and our representatives.

8 thoughts on “Why Nurses Support the Affordable Care Act

  1. This law may possibly be overturned in whole or part by the Supreme Court,plus the ramifications of the law for average citizens is unknown.Can you honestly explain this law?Have you read it?It’s monstrously long and complicated.Congress did not conduct due diligence before voting it in-reference Pelosi’s remark about passing it and seeing how it will work out.This is not the right way towards health care reform.

  2. I wish the law did more to reduce the growth of health care costs (e.g. restricting drug-pushing ads, capping malpractice awards, encourgaing HMO incentives…) but it is the only game in town. The right-wing has no plan other than let the “market” work, great care for those with good insurance and the rich, pile on to emergency rooms or die for the rest. (Talk about death panels!) You may recall this revered “market” resulted in my mother being dropped by her insurance company when she was diagnosed with cancer, claiming it was a pre-existing condition. At least the ACA restricts the worse abuses of that industry while the right-wing only seeks to serve their greed. So I thank the nurses for defending this imperfect law which is at least a step forward.

  3. Barry-I think parts of the new law were good and hoefully will survive any decision by the Supreme Court-specifically the restrictions on insurance companies’ actions and the ones limiting consumer advertising for drugs.
    However,the mandate and some of the hidden taxes are troubling.I don’t have the legal knowledge to form an opinion on them however,but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the mandate gone.

  4. Tort reform is necessary-the greedy trial lawyers be damned.The law doesn’t limit advertising?It should-it should be a decision by one’s doctor what drugs are prescribed because of interactions and side effects,

  5. OK, here’s how it works. The mandate is in the law at the request–or perhaps insistence–of the Insurance Companies. It’s not a socialist plot.

    You see, insurance companies really, really hate having to insure anyone who might actually use the insurance. They want to take in the premium, and never pay anything out. The difference between premium received – benefit paid = profit. Make the benefit smaller, the profit goes up.

    One thing the law does is prohibit insurance companies from excluding people with pre-existing conditions. That’s pretty much anyone over the age of 30, and half the people under. You see, pre-existing conditions mean that the insured will probably need medical care, which means benefit.

    Since this is the case, insurance companies want to have as large a pool of people paying benefits as possible. But–people who are young and healthy do not see the need to buy insurance. They’re young and healthy. Left to their own devices, they will not buy insurance until they feel they need it.

    Needless to say, this makes insurance companies very unhappy. They want to collect premiums from healthy people for as long as possible before paying any benefit. But how do you get people who don’t need insurance (in their opinion) to buy insurance?

    Answer: the mandate.

    This is not a gov’t power grab. It is not gov’t intrusion. It is a compromise made in order to buy the support, or at least benign neglect, of the insurance companies. They were opposed back in the 90s–remember Harry and Thelma (or whoever)? There was nothing like that this time around and note that the law passed.

    Yes, the law is complex. Insurance is complex. Read a policy sometime. This is a complex world.

    There is one way to make the law not complex: single payer, run by the gov’t. Everyone pays, everyone is covered.

    Pretty simple.

    The taxes aren’t troubling, IMHO. They are needed to pay for the coverage. There are no free rides. And the plan has several provisions that will, at the least, decrease the rate of cost hikes over the coming years.

    It’s not an ideal law. But the Republicans have made being reasonable impossible. Pretty much everything in the plan was originally proposed, thought up, or suggested by Republicans, or RW think-tanks like Heritage Foundation.

    You see, they were for this stuff before they were against it.

    In a nutshell….

  6. You see,if you weren’t such a preachy fellow,it might be easier to take you seriously.
    I’ve read a few insurance policies in my time and I find they are loaded with exclusions.
    Why do you feel it necessary to talk down at people to make your point?
    The mandate is likely to be struck down.If so,where does that leave the ACA?
    You won’t get single payer in your lifetime-not making a value judgment,just telling you the truth.
    I’ve dealt with good and bad insurance companies.I have found a few good ones,believe it or not.They were not providing health insurance.I get all my care from the VA,which I guess is like single payer except I don’t pay anything because I am pretty well physically messed up.I do pay for a family coverage so my wife can be covered by BCBS and i don’t even use the coverage.
    I realize I am occasionally nasty to you on this blog,but it gets tiresome to get lectured by someone who may have a lot less life experience than I do.
    I kinda get it that the corporations,banks,and foundations run everything-I don’t care any more.I’ve gotten to that point.

  7. OK, sorry for being preachy. I do like to ride my hobbyhorses.

    Just one point: VA is not single payer. Medicare is. VA is socialized medicine, pure and simple. The doctors, nurses, etc. are government employees.

    As for not caring that banks and corps run everything, for evil will win if the good simply do nothing.

    That’s why I get preachy. You think the government is messed up? Short-sighted? Wasteful? Try working for a large, publicly-held corporation. By contrast, the government is a model of efficiency and logic.

  8. I worked for state and federal government and frankly,I saw a lot of dedicated people.They didn’t cheat and steal,but I also saw too much of gutless bureaucrats just trying to hold on to a safe perch instead of having some cojones.
    Some did cheat and steal,but you get that everywhere.
    Yes,the VA may be socialized medicine,but they have a very restricted patient base,which makes it work.They also reach out to non governmental medical resources when that is necessary.I’m not sure this can extrapolate out succesfully to a very large population.
    I don’t rant against government per se-there is a need for government at every level,but just not TOO much-get it?

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