I am a nurse who has practiced in the state of Pennsylvania for 23 years, first as a Nurse Practitioner for 17 years, now as a staff nurse at one of Lancaster's local hospitals. Progressives 4 Pennsylvania organized a Healthcare Forum to discuss the healthcare crisis in the state, 4/4/07. The Governor of Pennsylvania was in attendance.
The following is what the forum revealed to the 300 people who gathered: Over 48 million Americans are without health care insurance. That doesn't even address the problem with the under-served, and those without proper access to the system. A notable problem not addressed by anyone on the Healthcare Crisis panel at Franklin And Marshall 4/4/07 is that there are over 1500 different insurance companies here in the US, all with different rules and different paperwork. No wonder access to care is such a problem. The system needs to be overhauled.
Governor Rendell's plan, Prescription For Pennsylvania, allows those who have created the problem to continue to get a paycheck, by rearranging the way everything is delivered. The Ceo's of the Insurance Companies continue to get their billions of dollars and the Pharmaceutical Companies continue to profit from the sick and suffering. The Governor doesn't seem to know anything about healthcare, anyway. That much is obvious: Like putting everyone's medical records on the internet; Or like putting mercurochrome on everyone's wounds in the emergency room; Or like letting nurses take over the health care system--talk about a war between the sexes!! More than one in three Americans is either uninsured or under-insured, and studies suggest that being under-insured is almost as problematical as being uninsured. People faced with large co-pays and deductibles avoid seeking medical attention until they absolutely have to.
By then it is often too late to avoid a bad outcome. Think about that 8-year old who died of a brain infection down in Baltimore recently because his family couldn't find a dentist who would do a $60 medicaid tooth extraction. His mother did not have $60. Think about people or who have insurance that barely covers anything, like so many situations people face today. The insurance companies are bound by law to generate returns for their stockholders, not provide customers (patients) with high quality health care at an affordable cost.
And customers of health insurance, nevermind health care services themselves, have next to no leverage to influence the way insurance companies serve them. All of my Canadian friends love the system they have in their country. The AMA (American Medical Association) pays to disseminate propaganda leading Americans to believe otherwise. We need to directly ask Canadian Citizen's to educate Americans about their Health Care Delivery system. We need to ask the Governor how much Pac money he got from the insurance companies to fund his run for Governor. The forum was a great beginning for opening our minds to this problem.
As Chuck Pennacchio suggested, author of the "Family and Business Healthcare Security Act," (a single-payor Statewide, comprehendsive healthcare delivery system), an Independent Impact Study is a logical next step. Perhaps Progressive's For Pennsylvania can lead the way for making this study a reality.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Kate Loving Shenk is a writer, healer, musician and the creator of the e-book called "Transform Your Nursing Career and Discover Your Calling and Destiny." Click here to find out how to order the e-book: http://www.nursingcareertransformation.com Check Out Kate's Blog: http://www.nursehealers.typepad.com -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-