The 2.1 million members of SEIU have been fighting for decades to ensure that everyone has access to quality affordable healthcare. We fought hard to get the Affordable Care Act passed, and we are still fighting hard to protect and fix the law.

Just before leaving for August Recess, the extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives held the 40th repeal vote on the healthcare law. It is unconscionable that they are more interested in scoring political points than ensuring that their constituents understand the benefits and protections of the law.

These extremist Republicans have no plan and their actions would take away health insurance for 3.1 million young people, force 6.3 million seniors to pay more for lifesaving prescription drugs and make 71 million hard working Americans start paying for what is now fully covered preventive care, such as cancer screenings, well child visits and contraception. Additionally, insurance companies could go back to denying people healthcare coverage, dropping people when they are sick and charging women more than men for the same care.

Enough is enough!

SEIU Nurses are leading outreach efforts in their communities this summer to ensure that everyone in America knows the facts about the benefits and protections of the new healthcare law. The law is working for families, communities and patients.

Here’s what SEIU nurses are saying about the Affordable Care Act:

Angie Bartels, RN and Certified Diabetes Educator
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Harborview Medical Center
Seattle, Washington

I am certified diabetes educator and a specialist in HIV care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Because of the Affordable Care Act, I see people better able to manage their chronic conditions. I also know it was such a relief for my colleagues and family members to be able to keep their children under 26 on their insurance policies, for patients to access free preventive care and screenings and for seniors to see the prescription drug “donut hole” close.

Sharon Ingram, RN
SEIU Local 521
Kern Medical Center
Bakersfield, California

Anyone who’s been in my shoes has seen the look of despair on a patient’s face when they can’t afford medications or treatment. I can think of hundreds of patients who have been helped by the healthcare law, but the one that sticks in my head is a 23 year old woman who was having a gallbladder attack and did not have insurance. She was there with her mom and I noticed that her mom was wearing a U.S. Postal Service uniform. I told the patient that she could be on her mom’s plan because under the healthcare law those under 26 can stay on their parent’s insurance. This made such a difference to them in their ability to afford the follow up care.

Amy Fusselman, RN
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
Allegheny General
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Because of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, 80 million Americans have access to preventive care. I have seen the grief and pain suffered by patients and their families who delayed care because they could not afford the co-pays that come with visits for preventive screenings. In my experience outcomes are much better when patients have access to proper preventive care and appropriate medical treatment. Early screenings — now covered by the healthcare law — for heart disease (the leading cause of death in the U.S), cancer (the second leading cause of death in the U.S), and even screenings during pregnancy have changed outcomes for my patients. We’ve caught diseases early and have been able to pro-actively treat patients rather than reacting to a condition that could have been prevented.

Dian Palmer. RN
Chair, Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare and President, SEIU Healthcare WI
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As a nurse for 25 years, I have seen the challenges and health risks for women and their families when they do not have access to the full range of health services – from contraception and maternity care to preventive check-ups and cancer screenings. President Obama’s healthcare law stopped the worst of insurance company abuses which included the outrageous practice of charging women more than men for the same insurance coverage, using Caesarean sections or domestic violence as pre-existing conditions to deny women healthcare, and dropping women’s coverage if they got sick.

Carmen Morales-Board, NP and Certified Diabetes Educator
SEIU Local 521
Kern Medical Center
Bakersfield, California

As a perioperative nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator, I daily witness the devastating effects of unmanaged chronic disease on the patients in my care. Limb amputation, stroke and kidney failure due to uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension is a sad reality for those unable to access essential primary/preventive care services and lifesaving medications. The Affordable Care Act removes financial barriers to front-line care by eliminating co-payments for basic health care services. This has made all the difference to my patients.

Linda Bock, RN
SEIU 1199
Community Health Center
Bowie, Maryland

I tell my patients that donuts are not good for them and neither are the holes. This law dramatically improves their lives by allowing them to stay on their prescribed medications and get preventive check-ups to stop serious problems before they start.

Bonnie Chappell, RN
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Spokane Valley Hospital
Spokane Valley, Washington

I have been been a registered nurse for 38 years and I work in labor and delivery at Spokane Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley, WA. In 38 years I’ve delivered a lot of babies, and with the Affordable Care Act mothers and babies are getting the care they need to start off life with the best possible odds.

Norlissa Cooper, RN
SEIU 1021
San Francisco General
San Francisco, California

The Affordable Care Act focuses on preventative care, eliminating co-pays for essential healthcare such as check-ups, cancer screenings and contraception. More patients will be covered in 2014, and we will see fewer people using the emergency department at San Francisco General as their sole source of primary care. When patients have the opportunity to see a practitioner when they are ill, without fear of cost, many of the costly health care crisis’ that I see now, will be avoided.

Raushanah Abdullah, RN
SEIU Nevada
Valley Hospital
Las Vegas, Nevada

As a nurse I worked with many transplant patients and saw the dramatic difference that they experienced-life before and after a transplant is a world apart. Unfortunately, I also saw the negative impacts of a system where insurance companies – and not healthcare providers – made the decisions on how much and what kind of care patients were able to receive. Some transplant patients would reach their lifetime limit on care and the insurance companies would stop paying for their daily anti-rejection medication. Some of these patients would try to buy it on their own, but it is very expensive. They would try to ration the pills, taking them every other day or weekly which is ineffective; some patients just stopped taking the pills altogether. Without the medication, their transplanted organs died. What a waste in so many ways. These insurance companies took away the healthy lives that these transplant patients were living and put them back on dialysis or worse. The Affordable Care Act eliminates lifetime limits on care. The law puts the decision about what kind and how much care patients receive into the hands of healthcare providers.

Kim Klinger, RN
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania

One of the last things a person with cancer needs is more stress. But I’ve seen that happen again and again when my patients learn that they have reached their health insurance cap while getting the cancer treatment they need to survive. Families have been bankrupted just by trying to get well…[The law means], no cancer patient–or anyone with a serious illness–will be faced with this kind of death sentence again.

Becky Leaven, RN
SEIU Local 199
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa

Repealing the healthcare law would end free preventive care-including maternity care, allow insurance companies to once again charge women more than men for the same care, and would allow insurance companies to count things like Caesarean sections as pre-existing conditions–which would allow them to deny coverage.

Pauline Taylor, RN
SEIU Local 199
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa

At a time when our kids are struggling to land that first good job with benefits, this law is giving me, and parents like me, tremendous peace of mind.

Dee Ives, RN
SEIU Healthcare WI
Veterans Care Facility
Madison, Wisconsin

These benefits [of the healthcare law] already have changed the lives of patients I have treated, such as Tom, who had a mild heart attack and was diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors prescribed medication to control his high blood pressure and blood sugar. Tom initially skipped scheduled doctor appointments and rationed his medication because he simply couldn’t afford it…thanks to the health care law, he had a free wellness visit and his prescriptions cost less. Today, Tom makes it to all of his appointments and takes his medication as prescribed. Medicare recipients such as Tom may not know that these improvements are due to the law, but nurses do know and it matters.

Margie Forrest, RN
SEIU 1199
Palm West Hospital
Loxahatchee, Florida

As a nurse, I strongly support the instrumental changes President Obama made to Medicare and Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act…. those who struggled to cover their prescription drug costs are now seeing their costs go down as the “donut hole” is closed. About 48,000 Floridians have saved roughly $665 each since the law was passed. Seniors also are getting regular preventive care like cancer screenings and annual wellness check-ups with no-copays. In the first six months of 2012 alone, more than 1,250,000 Florida seniors received free preventive services.

Denise Glass, RN
SEIU 1991
Jackson Memorial
Miami, Florida

I am a nurse at Jackson Memorial in Miami, Florida. Working in a public hospital where 21% of our patients are uninsured. Florida has over four million uninsured residents, many of whom would be eligible for coverage under the expansion of Medicaid services in the Affordable Care Act. Healthcare is not a commodity that only the rich should be able to afford.

 

August 15th, 2013

Posted In: Nurse Alliance

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

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