Tag Archives: nurses and Obamacare

a Nurse looks at the shutdown Oct 8 2013

I have been at this a long time, and there are cycles in government funding of healthcare that come and go.

Let’s call it what it is. Racism

I have always thought that the Tea Party was full of racists, and I have not learned anything to suspect otherwise.
My formative years were spent in Boston in the 1970s, and I recall that the growth of private “Christian” schools nationwide was fueled by a reaction to court decisions that imposed forced busing as a means to desegregate schools. We’ve seen the “Christian” movement grow, to the point where the younger adherents who actually grew up with a deep background in the Bible are unaware of how it got started.

this is not a “Christian” blog, though I can’t separate my beliefs as to how we are all here to make things better, from my approach to nursing. If you, the reader, have not been to the site of “The Christian Left” I advise you to go there.

“What does it take to get it through people’s heads that we are being attacked from within? The attack started years ago inside the heart of America, the Christian churches. Yes, they took over the churches by twisting scripture and by fear mongering. Who would believe that Christians would be the ones who perpetrate an attack from within? They use their great wealth to create organizations that pose as grassroots gatherings of good people. These good Christian people are being used by evil men and they haven’t a clue. It isn’t just for more wealth, it’s an attack for complete power and those wealthy men eat their own believe me. They have twisted the minds of people into believing that helping the poor and elderly is going to cause them to loose their chance of salvation. They impoverish people to try to save themselves. That is why many good people are supporting this even though it hurts the weakest among us. This is an attack on America pure as if Russia had driven tanks across our borders.” —

Patricia Cooper, member of The Christian Left

The “Christian” movement has merged with the racist groups that have crawled out of a swamp.

I simply have too many friends that are members of “minority groups” to stand silent. I have to speak up.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

we need to reject the idea that God somehow wants us to act the way the Tea Party has been acting.

It is clear to me that the Tea Party also is conducting a War on Women. there are just too many misogynistic things going on to wink and smile.

Don’t bargain with terrorists

The Tea Party groups that are behind this shutdown are doing and end-around against the kind of democracy we have relied on since the beginning of this country.

Don’t think for one minute that the hostage-taking will end once the racists get their current demand. They will absolutely revisit every settled part of social security, medicare, women’s health – everything. everything you thought was a settled policy will now be back on the table.

And somehow nurses will get the short end of the stick.



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the best way to lose your “virginity” Oct 26 2012

Saw this video on YouTube today.

This is the way I raised my daughters, the kind of values I wanted them to have…

Lena Dunham:Your First Time


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Nurses take direct political Action Oct 17th – you are invited

When Nurses Talk, Washington Listens

(be sure to click on the hyperlinks!)

Summary: Wednesday, Oct 17th is the date for “Nurses CAN”

In case you haven’t figured out, nurses have a lot at stake in the election.  In my opinion and that of experts, to repeal Obamacare will be a disaster for nurses; and also, the GOP is presently waging a War on Women that is painfully real. The War on Women extends to women’s health, child health, equal pay for equal work, and  the like.

Here is your personal invitation from Karen Daley, RN, the President of the American Nurses Association. FYI, Karen Daley is a personal friend of mine dating back to the days when I was President of Maine’s Nurses and she was President of Massachusetts Nurses. At the national meetings of A.N.A., the states were seated alphabetically and so we got to know each other. Ms. Daley is an E.R. nurses who “came up through the trenches” as the saying goes – lots of bedside nursing experience.



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Nurses Know Bullying When They See It

The words in blue or underlined are hyperlinks, click on them and you will enjoy what you find. Also, please send this to ten other nurses, share as widely as you can!

Executive summary: This week we were treated to a display of bullying.

Bullying is defined as:

Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability.[2][3] The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “target”.

Bullying is an issue in the nursing workplace.

yes, this is a shocking cartoon, but it indicates the degree to which the conservative movement, also known as the “Religious Right” disrespects persons of color. Every nurses needs to stand up for the dignity of persons, and to teach their children accordingly. If Romney gets elected President, America will be a meaner, tougher place.  That is not what I want. How about you?

Every nurse has experienced bullying in one form or another.  All you need to do is Google the term Nurse Bullying, and you will see that this has been a hot topic in 2012. It’s a hallmark of dysfunctional workplace culture, and I have written about it here.

Bullying and Big Bird

something that has totally shocked Wednesday was the casual reference made by Mitt Romney about firing Big Bird.  He made a joke out of it, but nurses should make no mistake: there is an agenda here at work. If you don’t believe me, watch this YouTube. In it, there is a guy who says that Elmo and Sesame Street are promoting a “gay agenda.”  ( this is astounding to me!). The guys in the YouTube video are against everything we teach to promote healthy growth and development among children.  Contrast the twit who wrote that book with Mister Rogers when he testified in front of congress.

From http://www.salon.com/2012/10/04/you_do_not_mess_with_big_bird/

What Romney, in his adorably out-of-touch way, failed to grasp with that statement is that practically every American under the age of 50 has a powerful childhood association with that goofy oversize lug. An entire generation can trace its first understanding of death to the moment that Big Bird let it sink in that “Mr. Hooper’s not coming back.” And another generation learned about loss and community and resilience after 9/11 when “Sesame Street” had Big Bird’s own nest destroyed in a storm. (The show aired Big Bird’s odyssey again after Katrina.) And I defy even a robotic millionaire to get through Big Bird’s choked-up rendition of “It’s Not Easy Being Green” at Jim Henson’s memorial service and not completely lose it when he says, “Thank you, Kermit.” […]

[D]espite coming out of the evening looking stronger than he has in weeks — Romney made the error of looking like a man who is not on the side of innocence, whimsy, learning or childhood. Nor did he seem to grasp that Big Bird is an integral part of a show that was created for and remains at its core about community and diversity, one that has for decades been an essential tool in helping low-income children prepare for school. Going after Big Bird is like putting down baseball and rainbows and YouTube videos of otter pups. You just don’t.

Primetime Propaganda

In 2011 I was in Nepal, so I missed the shooting star of a book titled “Primetime Propaganda”  (as an aside, it’s currently ranked a lot lower than my book; and also, you can buy used copies on Amazon for 81 cents).  The real reason Romney wants to defund PBS and Sesame Street has nothing to do with funding; it has everything to do with a backlash against teaching such things as tolerance, anti-bullying, respect, and dignity.

Personal story

Big Bird was originally designed to be the awkward teenager in all of us. He still is. Romney is not joking when he says he wants to fire Big Bird. Let’s stop this twisted agenda.

When my kids were little, we lived on an old run-down farm with eighty acres of land in rural Maine, down a gravel (i.e., unpaved) road. There were no other pre-school aged children within a mile. The only way they could play with other kids was to be driven somewhere else.  Maine Public Broadcasting  had Mister Rogers and Sesame Street on in the afternoons, right around the time we made dinner every day.  My wife and I grew up near Boston, in a diverse environment, going to public schools that were multiracial and playing on multiracial sports teams, and I wanted to make sure my kids kept the same outlook.  Sesame Street was one vehicle to promote that. Word is, cutting the PBS funding from Congress mainly will affect TV stations in rural areas.

Re-elect President Obama.

There are stories that Mitt Romney has been a bully all his life. He does not have a clue what it is like to be the victim of bullying. Romney does not know that the President is supposed to stand up for all Americans, not just the 1%. We need a grown up in the White House who knows what daily life is like for many of our citizens. That’s one more reason nurses need to vote for Obama.

and a suggestion:

If Mr. Obama wins re-election, I think that the Inauguration should include a guest appearance by Kermit the Frog. Singing his big break-out hit song. (from 1969???)

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Greetings, Kermit the Frog here And today I’d like to tell you a little bit about the color green Do you know what’s green Well I am for one thing You see frogs are green, and I’m a frog And that means that I’m green, you see

It’s not that easy being green Having to spend each day the color of the leaves When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow, or gold Or something much more colorful like that

It’s not easy being green It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things And people tend to pass you over ‘Cause you’re not standing out Like flashy sparkles in the water Or stars in the sky

But green’s the color of spring And green can be cool and friendly-like And green can be big like a mountain Or important like a river Or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be It could make you wonder why But why wonder why wonder I am green, and it’ll do fine It’s beautiful, and I think it’s what I want to be

This is the message I want every kid in America, to hear.

For more background, go to this excellent blog.

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Never Doubt the power of nursing

If you want to read about a country where health care is not a right or a privilege, buy my book.  would you want to get health care there?

The key to this entry is the hyperlinks. when there is an underlined piece of text or it’s in a different color, it leads to a video. Click on those.

thought for the day

watch this video. It shows Gabby Giffords leading the Pledge of Allegiance. bring a tissue.

Congressperson Giffords was severely injured in a shooting. She received first aid at the scene and was rushed to a hospital where doctors and nurses stabilized her. She was on a ventilator in an ICU for weeks. I don’t know the details of her hospital stay, but she was on  a mechanical ventilator and received excellent care if you ask me. Her husband made a video journal of her progress.



It didn’t stop in ICU.  She got excellent physical therapy and speech therapy.  I would be remiss if I did not mention those disciplines. I can see it by looking at her gait in the video of the Pledge.

Here is the punchline

Every one deserves that level of excellent, compassionate care.

Never doubt that national trends affect you when you work as a nurse at the bedside. When Romney and Ryan say they are going to cut health care costs, and roll back Obamacare, they mean it. For me, I have seen the cause-and-effect every time we elect a Republican. The war on Women is not limited to control of reproductive rights. It extends to a lack of care about occupations that are traditionally thought of as “Women’s Jobs.” Yes folks, that includes nursing, whether you are a male or a female nurse.

Here is the opinion of the American Nurses Association

don’t think “My congressperson is okay it’s the other congresspeople who are the problem”

we need to do more to elect people to congress who are likeminded. In some cases, the local voters figure “yes, congress is bad and they aren’t getting anything done, but my guy is okay”

No. If your guy is voting against women, voting against nurses, voting against health care, and trivializes the effect of sexual assault on women, then he’s not okay. Your guy is not helping.

Every family in America has something at stake in this election.  Every nurse knows the need to fund health care.

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Nurses have a lot at stake if Obamacare is repealed or the Ryan Budget is enacted

August 22nd Update: is there anybody left who thinks the GOP is not waging a “war on women?” If so, click on this link.

Please share this widely. here is the link to this blog: 


In the interest of full disclosure, I am a partisan Democrat. Have been all my life. I am committed to defending the underdogs of society.

Last spring I wrote a blog on the subject of Obamacare, saying that we need to keep it. I quoted an NPR radio piece where the economic specialists described how it seems as though health care is pitted against spending money on building roads.  Road-building is “men’s work” – somehow this means it is more valued by legislators than “women’s work????” – I just don’t think so. I am old enough to remember the Reagan Recession of 1982 in which households where the main breadwinner was a single woman were inordinately affected. I know lots of nurses who are single parents….. let’s think of a better way….. ( and by the way – Reagan was not such a great president….)

Then I left for the summer. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act.


But the last shot has not been fired. Nobody should relax and think that the provisions of reform are safe.

The latest thing is The Romney/Ryan plan to replace Medicare with a voucher program. Ugh. Please do click on the link!!!!

Here is a YouTube Video from the Obama campaign, which every nurse needs to see:


We have a problem with vouchers. In brief, they are highly unlikely to cover enough of the costs, and people will be responsible to pay out-of-pocket. Paying out-of-pocket serves as a means of forcing people to self-ration the care they receive.

I know many senior citizens who are committed to never be a burden to their children, and who will go without needed services before asking their kids for money.

I also know many adult children who are caregivers for a frail elderly parent, and who spend a lot out-of-pocket even though they now have Medicare.

I have met women who have put off care for breast lesions because they were hoping it wasn’t cancer – and when it turned out that it was, they suffered needlessly because it was too advanced to treat. Metastatic breast cancer is not a happy way to die.


The reality is that money doesn’t actually cure anything; it’s the nurses and doctors and drugs and treatments that do the curing. All these things will disappear when the money dries up. Nursing agencies including home care, will close. Hospitals will close or cut back.

Here is a place where nurses need to educate the public as to the effects of cuts. Please share the video link widely.

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