What Every Nurse Needs to know about “repealing Obamacare”

Private health care is a myth

If you want to learn about a health system that is utterly  on it’s own with the minimal amount of “government interference’ and a lot of “faith-based care” – buy my book about hospitals in Nepal. During my four trips there I met nurses and doctors who worked a lot harder than their American counterparts, but who had nothing in terms of equipment and supplies.  It was inspiring and humbling to work with an international team of dedicated Christian missionaries, but it was also a shock to see the limitations of poverty and lack of investment in health care, even basic public health, faced by most of the world’s actual population.  My first trip especially, was a shock. I had no idea that people were still dying from some of the things I witnessed with my own eyes.

We live in an invisible bubble

I promised myself I would never ever complain about the equipment or the physical plants of any American hospital, ever again.  On my YouTube channel you can tour a hospital in Nepal. Have a seat and join me there……

Obamacare? hah!

I am going to get straight to the point about The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  It’s the best thing we have done in a long time.   For me, I place a lot of trust in the American Nurses Association and their policy analysis. Click here to find the pdf document titled Health System reform: Nursing’s Goal of Quality, Affordable Care for All .  If you haven’t read it, time to do so.

What Nurses need to know

Health care in America follows an industrial design.    I am devoted listener to NPR, and whenever the economist from Princeton named Uwe Reinhardt is interviewed, he always has things to say about the health care workforce as it related to cost and outcomes.

March 19, 2012

NPR has been broadcasting a wonderful informative series on the Health Care Reform bill, in the run-up to Supreme Court Hearings on the legislation. professor Reinhardt was interviewed on Monday March 19, 2012.  They also interviewed Tony Carnevale, a labor analyst from Georgetown University.

U.S. Health Care Workforce larger Than Ever

Every nurse needs to listen to this segment on the health care workforce.  CLICK HERE.

Here is an excerpt from the March 19th 2012 NPR transcript:

CARNEVALE: What is outstanding about the health care workforce is the extent to which it’s female and the extent to which it’s female at higher wage levels and higher education levels. This is in much the same way the manufacturing workforce – the old industrial economy – was a boy’s economy. The health care economy – the post-industrial economy – is a woman’s economy.

SIEGEL: And it’s an educated person’s economy.

CARNEVALE: And an educated person’s economy.

SIEGEL: People, obviously, who are doctors, have M.D.s, but there are also a lot of people with certificates and associate degrees from community colleges in there.

CARNEVALE: Health care is the most credentialed industry, apart from education itself, in the American economy. ( the interview continues, you would benefit from listening to the whole thing.)

You can get the entire transcript, here.

the bottom line

the bottom line is, when the politicians are talking about controlling costs, they are talking about eliminating nurses jobs. Money does not actually cure or care any body’s  illness. Money pays for the people who do the work to cure or to care. The Federal government has a choice as to budgeting and the congress can fund an industry with (mainly) female-oriented jobs, or else pay for highway improvements (more male-oriented).

I didn’t invent the system by which people choose an occupation, but I see a lot of sense n the way that Rienhardt and Carnevale describe it when they use those terms……..like every one, I get to observe it and report on it. Yes folks, that’s the way it works…..

My conclusion?

a lot of this blog is devoted to the issues of nurse employment – esp for the nurses we are now producing, new to the workforce.

 In summary,

I believe that many hospitals ( large employers) have gotten very conservative since we are all waiting to see if the Federal Government will make some dramatic change in health care funding. During this uncertainty, hiring is very very conservative.

I believe that if we  repeal the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there will be continued cutbacks in the nursing workforce, despite a demonstrated need as the baby Boomers enter retirement age.

I also believe that we have a choice. If we elect politicians who vow to repeal the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we chose one future. If we elect others who support The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we can impact the direction of health care, and of the nursing workforce.

for these reasons ( and a whole lot of others that are not directly nursing-related) I plan to work for, and vote for, Barack Obama for President, and for other federal officials who will also support full implementation of this critical law.

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1 Comment

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One response to “What Every Nurse Needs to know about “repealing Obamacare”

  1. July 2nd UPDATE: I have just completed a leg of my summer backpacking trip. I personally am thrilled by the Supreme Court decision upholding this law. I will write more soon. In the meantime, the American Nurses Association has excellent analysis of the implicagtions of this law.

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