As nurses and healthcare workers, we worked hard to pass healthcare reform that would bring affordable healthcare coverage to millions more Americans.
And thanks to our work to help spread the word about the Affordable Care Act we helped sign up nearly 150,000 Washington residents for new private health plans, and more than 400,000 people are newly covered by Medicaid/Apple Health during the first open enrollment period, ending March 31, 2014.
Apple Health, or Medicaid expansion, will provide primary and preventive care including vaccines, cancer screenings, and mental health care. The program will save Washington’s state budget $225 million dollars in the next two years.
Our success here in Washington state is just the start. Across the country, 9.5 million uninsured people now have insurance.
Together we worked to spread the word through an the education and outreach campaign conducted by SEIU nurses, healthcare workers, child care providers and security officers nationwide including local workers here in Washington state. Together we reached more than 2.4 million people over the course of the first open enrollment period through enrollment events, phone calls, door knocking and through online outreach.
We know how critical good health coverage is and we were able to use our expertise to bring the promise of healthcare to our community.
The new law will make a critical difference for millions of people. Every health plan includes doctor visits and hospital stays, maternity and pediatric care, prescription drugs, preventive care like cancer screenings and vaccines, mental health services, and management of chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma.
SEIU members know that our healthcare system works best when everyone has access to preventive care and we’re working hard to bring access to that care to as many people as possible. Working in our facilities and in our communities, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW nurses and healthcare workers are committed to making sure every single Washingtonian who qualifies for coverage takes advantage of this opportunity.
“As a nurse at Harborview I see a lot of people who don’t have health insurance. Every day they choose not to go to the doctor to get the care they need. Then they end up in the hospital for something that was easily treatable. It breaks my heart to see this, and that’s why I’m working to spread the word on the Affordable Care Act. We’ve been talking with patients and our fellow co-workers in the cafeteria of the hospital, talking about what the law means and where patients can find more info. I’ve talked to a few hundred people and they’re all grateful for information. We’ve also been talking with small business owners and helping our community understand that care is available to them.”
Vanessa Patricelli, RN, Harborview Medical Center