Health Care Reform and Nurses
by, 10-11-2010 at 04:55 PM (5668 Views)
Almost every week I am asked my opinion regarding healthcare reform (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA). Frequently the person asking me also has an opinion and this has led to some lively discussions, particularly if the individual thinks the PPACA is a bad idea. I happen to believe health care reform is not only a good thing, but it is also long overdue. It is astouding to me that a progressive country, such as ours, has not had a planned healthcare approach for all its citizens, but instead has relied on Emergency Departments or "doing without" as the strategy of choice. That has not only been an expensive alternative, but it has also resulted in inconsistent and sporadic care.
I know there is a lot of talk about this being a time of opportunity for nurses, and I have to say I think it really is. Much of the care that is currently uncovered or covered poorly, is preventative care or care of chronic conditions - both of these are a perfect fit for nursing. Nurses are experts in prevention, as well as managing chronic conditions and under the PPACA there are opportunities to provide leadership and participate in structuring care in both these arenas. I fully expect nurses to step up to this opportunity and challenge, and I think individuals and whole communities will be better for it. What do you think?