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Nursing: You Wanna Know What I Think?

Don’t Blame Obamacare for Insurance Woes

Published March 31, 2014 5:57 PM by Pat Veitenthal
I am a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. I have waited a very long time to see the availability of reasonably priced insurance come to pass. I never actually believed it would happen, so I tried not to get my hopes up. It did happen, though, and I am very happy, even though I am worried.

What has me worried is the fear that it will be taken away just as quickly as I got it because of people stereotyping those who need it.

I know there are many people who are not as pleased as I am. I'm seeing the negative stories in the news, on TV and all over social media. I feel terrible for the people who have lost insurance, blaming the ACA. Or the people who have seen rate increases and services decline from their current providers.

The blame, however, belongs to the same group it has always belonged to, and that is the Insurance Industry. Along with Big Pharma, I believe they are responsible for 99% of all the evil and woes of healthcare. Insurance companies are using the AHA as an excuse to drop clients and charge higher deductibles. The government has given them a perfect scapegoat, allowing them to look innocent while doing what they have ALWAYS done.

I know for a fact that hospital benes were changing and shrinking long before the ACA was even a twinkle in Hillary's eye. When I first began working in hospitals in the 1970s, we had 100% health and dental coverage, and a 50% discount for any employee using their hospital's services, including pharmacy. I watched benefits shrink over the last 45 years to almost nothing. So no, you won't see me blame the ACA for that.

When I moved from Virginia to Maryland in 2009, my insurance company, BC/BS Care First, a minimum plan with huge deductible, said they would no longer carry me, and that I would have to apply to Maryland Care First. I did, and they turned me down for coverage because of pre-existing conditions. I tried many other companies, but the word was out-I had PExC and no one would cover me. I contacted Virginia Care First and asked about coverage if I still worked in their coverage area. Ah HAH! Yes! I could get coverage with my former plan as long as I worked in Manassas, but my rate would be increased from $233/mo to $476/mo. I couldn't possibly afford that, so I did without.

Now with the Affordable Care Act, I am insured with health and dental for the first time in 5 years at a rate, that while not cheap, I can afford. I'm not a junkie, an illegal, or lazy. I'm retired. I worked hard all my life, and I am happy I had this choice. I'm not the only one either, and we don't deserve to be made to feel badly about it.

posted by Pat Veitenthal


This is the truth about the "Affordable" Care Act.  This law was pushed through the senate via a loophole (it had to be done this way otherwise it never would have passed) with only only one party supporting it and with public consensus running strongly against it.  Whereas social security and medicare had public approval and was supported by both parties and involved simple transfers of monies, the contents of the ACA were so complex and convoluted that they were a mystery to not only voters but the politicians who supported it: Nancy Pelosi-"Let's just pass it, then we'll figure out how it works."  

Now, not only is government saying you must have health insurance; they are saying that you can only have insurance that we approve.  The only reason insurers such as Blue Cross and Aetna were not in opposition to it is that they are receiving billions of dollars in federal subsidies for the "reinsurance" and "risk corridor" programs.  Those programs end in 2017 and then the exchanges will have to stand on their own.  They can barely do it now and every physician I have spoken to used one word to describe the situation; unsustainable.  When that happens, insurers will be screaming that they can pay out on all the claims they are receiving.   It has also been estimated that due to declining reimbursements to providers and consolidations of healthcare networks resulting from the ACA plans, there will be a LOSS, NOT GAIN of nearly 1 million healthcare jobs.

Also it was reported as far back as last August that people are putting off going to the emergency room even for severe problems due to the high deductibles of the new plans.  And let's not forget the lies; "If you like your plan........", "If you like your doctor...........",  " The average household will save $2500 in health plan premiums."  Our president knew that if people knew the truth, they never would have supported this law nor him for re-election.  They could created a system for the uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions while leaving the rest of us alone.  Instead this administration chose to shove this down our throats.

Peter Digiuseppe, RN September 17, 2014 2:36 PM

I just found out today that the company that I work for is being dropped from our  insurance company. They say it is because of the ACA but after reading so many of the comments online I am not sure what to believe. I know that what we have is substandard as I have a 5,000 annual deductible with a 170.00 monthly premium but at least it was something. Now I am nervous about what is out there in the so called marketplace. Very confused and nervous about how much this will end up costing me for a monthly premium.

Any advice out there. Who is to blame?

amy cerisier May 21, 2014 10:01 PM
champlin MN

We can all learn a great deal from those of you stating your situations, both good and bad. To those of you having your policies cancelled, I DO know how awful  is,because it happened to me just for crossing a state line, I am deeply sorry that you know how that feels now too.

I still believe that the insurance companies are creating this discourse. QUESTION: Do they provide you with the proof of the ACA section when they cancel your policies for coverage? I ask this sincerely. Is their reason for cancellation documented specifically in the bill and a copy provided to you to see for yourself?

Pat Vee April 26, 2014 9:40 AM

Are you kidding me? I am a consultant and independent contractor. I had insurance for 350 per month that covered 100% hospitalization until obamacare. Now the policy will be canceled on my anniversary date because it does not comply with the new law. Now the closest policy I can find will cost me 800 per month for 80% hospitalization coverage. I am in big trouble. I am middle class not wealthy. Now I will be caring for patients with coverage I paid for and I will have no coverage myself. Obama care is destroying the middle class.

Karen Landau, np April 25, 2014 6:29 PM
union NJ

I have been an RN for nearly 30 yrs and always had good insurance. I lost lost my insurance while on disability in 2012 because I couldn't afford COBRA on what I made on SDI. When I came off disability after one year, my job was no longer available. Since then I have worked mostly per diem with supplemental UI, and no medical insurance. The ACA was the ONLY way I would have been able to get health insurance, esp at age 59, and without it I would probably have lost my home and eventually been forced into early retirement/SS Disability.  Now I can remain a productive member of society because I have a way to afford the care I require for my physical condition, while still working. This same condition worsened over the last two years, due to inadequate treatment, so that now I am unable to work full time hours----but at least I can still work AND I have insurance I can afford.  God bless Mr. Obama for caring more about people in need than about the insurance and pharm companies, AND POLITICIANS, who only care about the money in their pockets.  The insurance companies DID NOT have to raise the rates on all their customers----it was done by choice and blamed on ACA as a way to try to turn public opinion against the best thing to come along in healthcare since staffing ratios!  

Patricia, Homecare/Clinics - RN April 16, 2014 8:24 PM
No.Cal CA

The medical profession has been sold down the river.  I am a self-employed nurse practitioner.  My taxes went up 15% to pay for ACA.  Meaning... I paid 48%.  How many self-emplyed MDs can keep their shingle out for very long?  Fewer MD's in the near future.  NP's must collaborate with MDs in ratio of 1-7.  Fewer NPs.  Where will all these new patients be seen? On a cruise ship? I doubt it.

Sharon Cates, Family - NP-C, Self-Employed April 14, 2014 4:58 PM
Houston TX

The not so affordable Care Act should be the correct name here. My insurance went from $399.00 to $617.00 per month... really.... where is the affordable?   For the same policy! I am self employed......... where is the mercy? Cannot afford the increase... DISGUSTED!!!  OH and BTW... I do not have any medical conditions nor do I take any Rx. meds.... I choose to take care of myself with proper eating, exercise and lifestyle........... I should get a decrease just for my attitude!

anne-marie purtill, Case Manager - RN, Self Employed April 14, 2014 10:54 AM
Middletown NJ

In years to come we all will be affected how this ACA is not only not affordable but how it ruined our country our forefarhers worked so hard so we could be the strongest nation in the world. But we will continue to spiral downward and it will cost our children's children's life to be unbearable! It is amazing so many professional and educated people believe what our government has pushed down their throats about how this ACA is going to save our health care system! Come on people,who has really read the entire ACA bill? Very few! And why doesn't our senators have the same healthcare as we do!!Because they made it so they don't have to suffer like we will!!

Terry RN BSN  - Dallas

Terry, O.R. - RN, THR April 14, 2014 6:56 AM
Dallas TX

The biggest problem with ACA is that we really should have had Universal Health Care but when you have congressmen and senators who get their healthcare paid for (By taxpayers) for the rest of their lives, there is no reason for them to advocate for the rest of us.  Thank God President Obama has the compassion for the working class and poor people of this country.  Prior to making decisions there were opportunities for ALL citizens to participate in focus group meetings that were held all over the country, I attended many right here in Central Florida, and discuss issues regarding the best way to proceed with ACA. this information was submitted directly back to the white house.   If anyone watched any of the meetings that were televised for everyone to watch, you would have seen what lies people like Eric Cantor (R), who is an MD told, regarding how he never saw people who had difficulty paying their bills and everyone has access to health care (well maybe in the privileged world he lives in he never saw that)  he obviously never knew anyone with a pre-existing condition who previously could not get healthcare.  The people who lost their health insurance was only because those companies wanted to continue to offer an inferior product and they are no longer allowed to charge you a monthly premium without offering you good coverage so you should be glad you are no longer being cheated out of your money every month.  Last but not least, each state has the ability to include provision of federal subsidies to help decrease the cost for people based on incomes.  There are many governors who are not allowing this because they do want ACA and President Obama to fail. So don't vote for them again!!!  I  pray for Pres. Obama every night and hope one day the people in this country will stop complaining about immigrants and poor getting too much, after all, how do you think you all got here?  Unless you are a Native American Indian, everyone came from Immigrants so stop complaining and be grateful for this new step forward to help people reduce the biggest stressor in life; the fear of getting sick and not being able to pay for it.  Stop listening to the fear mongers and start believing in something better.  

Jeanne, Family Medicine - RN/ARNP April 12, 2014 8:24 PM
Central FL

So, everyone against the ACA should just shut up and enjoy the ride, quit listening to those negative conservatives, our government knows what's best for us, we should be like those other countries with wonderful free medical care...it's those greedy insurance companies fault after all...

Maybe if I tell  myself that enough times I'll get the warm fuzzies and everything will be wonderful...

Maybe if I worked in a large city controlled by Democrats [or in the North East] it would be different.....truth is;

I'm working twice as hard for the same pay without a raise in years while our hospital is shutting down and I absolutely cannot afford health insurance, and that has nothing to do with the ACA? C'mon people,  'obamacare' is the biggest political maneuver forced on us in American history! It's meant to fail and crash the system...despite what the followers proclaim. Anyone who sees this and is brave enough to admit it will be demonized as a hater and an impediment to progress.  Just keep telling your self how wonderful it will all be and how its going to help the poor [who have always had free health care]... Maybe the warm fuzzies are enough for you...

S. Zimmer, management - RN April 12, 2014 12:53 AM

Hi Pat, thanks again for a good conversation.  I am an RN who has longed for America to provide basic, affordable healthcare to the taxpayers for sooo long.  I am elated to see the present administration has finally accomplished that.  Doesn't everyone deserve basic healthcare? Don't other advanced countries, including Cuba, Canada,Europe,Great Britain have access to medical care for all their citizens?  Finally we have made the medical advancements to keep up with other advanced Nations, and have distanced ourselves from poorer nations who provide no medical care.

karen langenstein April 11, 2014 12:33 PM
hayward CA

The insurance companies use lobbyist to push the negativity about ACA.  The main people wanting to do away with ACA either can afford the medical expense or they have never been very sick.  The kinks need to be worked out for the system to work.  So those who push all the negativity about ACA tell the rest of us what better solution do you have.  

Pat April 10, 2014 11:27 PM

Hello Beth, maybe if you take time to read the ACA, you would not feel that way. How is it that AMERICANS can feel comfortable knowing that there are millions of uninsured citizens. Anytime a new law is inacted there is resistance, among the masses. There is no perfect system, when socila security, medicare amd medicaid was proposed it  was  deemed to fail, and have they? Ask anyone receiving ss, or medicare if they want it taken away. Once the kinks are worked out of the ACA and the senate stops demagoguing the ACA the same will come to fruition.

geneva goldstein April 10, 2014 5:50 PM

 Hello Maaureen, have you taken the time to see what the POTUS stands for STOP GETTING YOUR INFORMATION FROM FOX FIVE NEWS and THAT FAT PIG RUSH LIMBAUGH. Try reading up on our POTUS accomplishment. By the way that spot for worst president has already been filled by G.W. BUSH

geneva goldstein, Hospice - RN, BRONX April 10, 2014 5:38 PM
New York NY

We'll said Pat.  While ACA is not perfect it is a step in changing a broken system. Good for you have the clear insight to see what is really before us. People are so focused on disliking Obama that they miss the point.

Judith Simpson, Education - Rn, Retired April 10, 2014 8:00 AM
Melbourne FL

I am disheartened by the folks here who call themselves nurses but do not stand for healthcare-for-all.  Worse still are the ones who question President Obama for not saluting (he is a civilian, we do not salute), or the ones who think the ACA is is a minority opinion (google Gallup or Pew Polls).  Also, anyone who thinks an anecdotal instance (only on say-so) somehow measures up to all of the millions who are now insured.

Alice Peterson, Clinical Educator April 10, 2014 6:56 AM

My question is to those who have commented negatively about ACA. If you have a better plan, let's hear it.

Cindy Kirby, Women's Health - RNC/CRNP April 9, 2014 11:19 PM
Media PA

Besides what about the kick backs and cut's the doctors and Hospitals get from the Pharmaceutical company's. Also the insurance cuts when they file a claim. How come that is not dispersed on down to the patient's. I think you forgot to mention that.

Gary P, Long Term Care - CNA getting RN, 0 April 9, 2014 10:53 PM
Fayetteville AR

P paca is far from perfect. That said it has startemedicare bend the cost curve downwards. Before paca we routinely saw double digit premium inflation. Since paca premiums are single digits. It is delusional to say that the previous system was sustainable. It wasn't.  If the universal coverage countries are so bad why do they have lower costs and better results?

Paca is a go heritage foundation plan. The democratic wing of the Democratic party wanted medicare for all.

peter, psychiatfy - cnp, government April 9, 2014 10:42 PM
mpls MN

We were working for Washington Regional, they sold out to another company and our insurance tripled so did our Pharmaceuticals. They said if our Prescriptions were bought from them at a 3 month lot it would be even cheaper than we were paying at WRMC.AARP can and only will help if you are over 65. so our rates did  not increas that much but the prescriptions did and now instead of 1500 deductible it is 5000 a year, and we were told we can not drop it. Obamacare is going to be shoved down our throats. He is and will be the ruination of our country. Besides we are in the end times, they have all your information about you and you will be one of the first they find because of this. Have you ever seen him salute one of our soldiers  or the AMERICAN Flag no. Have you seen him trying to help Michigan or even the people of the U.S. NO. But he and his wife can take all these Vacation trips on tax Payers money and run up the deficit. No I did not vote for him and will not vote for him or Hilary Clinton even if she is from Arkansas. So good for you but the last one to laugh is the one who laughs always.

Gary Patterson, Long Term Care - CNA getting RN, 0 April 9, 2014 10:41 PM
Fayetteville AR

Lucky Bev, R.N.  In MA, you get fined for "going without," and the fines are close to the cost of the insurance.  And we need the insurance at this stage.  In addition, I left nursing where I was getting some help with the premiums and found the cost of insurance without that help was going to be $1500 - $1,700 a month for my husband and I.  I was facing losing my quality of life, my home, my husband's business and was having to choose between my health or my style of living.  Then the ACA came in.  "No American will have to pay more than 10% of their income for health insurance." When they finally get to processing us,(huge problems with enrolling) I have the hope and expectation that  the fee for coverage is not going to threaten my security and home and like Pat V, it is going to save myself and my husband.   I, too, fear it being taken away.  

And all for the dethroning of the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.  Can't wait to see it happen.

Sharon, R.N. April 9, 2014 10:13 PM
Springfield MA

When I listen to those who want to criticize the ACA I find that they either have never interacted with health insurance companies before or they believe the negative media without really looking at the facts.  You can not compare an Individual policy through the ACA with a policy through an employer.  The employer negotiates with the insurance company on behalf of their employees.  Usually there are hundreds if not thousands of employees who pay only a portion of their premium with the employer picking up the rest of the premium.  An individual policy through the ACA charges the entire premium to the individual there is no employer sharing the cost.  Another issue is the people who complain that they want to keep a policy that might have been cheap but wouldn't cover a major illness if the individual got sick.  I have seen too many people who were very surprised to find they weren't covered for the Chemotherapy that they needed when they unfortunately got cancer.  There are so many examples of individuals who can now be covered that were excluded because of a pre-existing condition.  Remember you can't compare apples to oranges you have to look at what were the facts before the ACA and what are the "real" facts about the ACA today.

Linda, Nursing - RN, Retired April 9, 2014 9:56 PM
Reno NV

You're right, my blog IS about me. Hence the heading. It's about what I think. This one is about my insurance story, nothing more or less, and what I think about it.

Pat Vee April 9, 2014 9:27 PM

Pat your article is all about you. Where is your God and Country?

Good luck and God bless you and GOD bless America.

Obama is hurting our country militarily, spiritually, financially and will go DOWNIN HISTORY AS THE WORST CCOMMANDER AND CHIEF OF THESE UNITED STATES.

Hope your health holds up.

Maureen, DSU - RN BSN, INNER CITY HOSPITAL April 9, 2014 9:19 PM
Houston TX

Actually, there were people from healthcare involved in the discussions about the law. I was at a conference in 2010 at which the president of ANA spoke about being personally involved in the discussions. She spoke about being asked to give input from nursing's point of view and was present at several meetings with legislators.

Julie, RN April 9, 2014 8:44 PM

I'm retired and I can't afford affordable healthcare.  600 hundred a month and 6,000 plus  out of pocket expense.  I'll save my own 6,000 to pay for my care and skip the six hundred a month

Beverly , RN April 9, 2014 8:14 PM
Walpole NH

Did anyone ever look at who advised this ACA? well certainly not healthcare people and if they had any part bet they never took care of sick and chronically ill people. Look at the guy from MIT who was the big spokesman- MIT?? I don't think they educate nurses or physicians but he had the stage.

The insurance companies played their part- they are for profits- those of us with IRAs and 401K s all have stock in them.

So the rules are nice but the cost are deliberately prohibitive and a simple solution- "rent control" this is your limit, this is the rule and don't try to extract any more- ain't happening. And I am not a fan of Medicaid but it may have to be the way and then our states will go broke.

ACA has to be revamped and reconstructed but the administration was so anxious to get their political baby passed it failed to consider everyday Americans.

KAren Duarte, HCA - Retired April 9, 2014 8:08 PM
The Villages FL


Appreciate your comments and glad that you were able to find affordable coverage under the ACA whereas you were locked out of having any coverage at all before ACA. The way I see it, the ACA is just the beginning of moving the nation towards a discussion of healthcare, and I feel it is imperative for nurses to become educated on what it means for patients and themselves. The ACA is basically insurance reform, stopping some of their  most egregious practices, like lifetime limits and not covering preexisting conditions. Certainly, it needs some tweaking and I believe nurses are in the perfect position to inform the conversation. Instead of bashing the bill, why not work together to make it better. When unintended circumstances arise, we should point them out and work on fixes. I believe the intent of the legislation is sound, that everyone should have healthcare insurance and all contribute to make it work, just like car insurance etc. We also need to focus on wellness and prevention, which many aspects of the law try to do. However, this will require a paradigm shift in thinking, and this does not happen overnight. I encourage everyone to read a book by T.R. Reid, The Healing of America, and read about Switzerland's healthcare system which seems similar to the ACA. Also, look at how it is working in Massachusetts, which is basically what the ACA was fashioned after. Finally, how about working together to make our country healthy. I believe the ACA, although not perfect, is trying to help with that, but changing behavior does not happen overnight. I realize this post is rambling a bit, but hope it has given you some food for thought.

Julie , RN April 9, 2014 8:05 PM

Part 2----- In addition to above:  We are good people....those who can't afford it we will take care of with a mix of government and philanthropy.  

Lani, Retired April 9, 2014 7:39 PM

I knew that this was going to be a subject that would stimulate passionate discussion, and I'm happy to have provided the venue for it. However, I admit to being deeply saddened that some of you have chosen to behave so unprofessionally. Opinions should be tolerated, dialogues open, and knowledge shared. It is not necessary to call or imply that anyone, including me, is uneducated, stupid, insensitive, naïve, or illogical. I ask that you refrain from personal attacks. They are simply not necessary, and are of no help in making your points.


Pat Vee

Pat Vee April 9, 2014 7:32 PM

The problem is as follows: Prior to the ACA, our healthcare system was constrained by too many rules on it so it could not behave in a "free market"fashion. ACA further placed tons of regulations on the industry with the willing collusion of the companies.  Every rule/regulation creates a shift is the supply/demand curve raising cost.  It is totally unsustainable as we have seen.  Socialized medicine will be so expensive; our taxes will become utterly oppressive to life as we are used to here is the US.

The solution:  The market needs to be wide open with as little regulation as possible.  Most can afford to be independent with their care with the following in place--1) Health savings for all period ( and let it be passed down to other family members)  2) A return to the catastrophic care concept of health insurance -everyone handles there own little stuff! 3)Get it away from the employer..personal and portable. Perhaps some other good ideas are out there.  

Remember we are about liberty here and we must have dominion of our own lives. Let the marketplace compete for our $ so we the people have the power over our care and the timely access to it!!!

Lani, Retired April 9, 2014 7:22 PM

Lose their power?  Really?  You are living in a fantasy world where you believe that BIG government knows what is best, can afford to do what is in the best interest of the patient, and then will also follow through with it.  Get out your history book and study RUSSIA & GERMANY.  Our power relies on the fact that some of us in terms of healthcare still have choices for the moment...  A universal payer system would have given you generic healthcare at best - a one size fits all approach regardless of how hard you have worked to get where you are at in this REPUBLIC and regardless of your individual healthcare needs.  Furthermore, Age would always count against you regarding what money would be available for you under a total government controlled system.  Don't be Naïve.  Forward in Freedom.

Military Wife x 17 years, Mother of 3, RN, BSN, MS

P.S.  A good reference to read to open your eyes regarding the U.S. government is:  "Extortion:  How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, And Line Their Own Pockets".  

Lisa Lineweaver April 9, 2014 6:44 PM

It is unfortunate that the insurance companies are the winners again. Sad to say it, but they win again, I don't care what anybody says. My floor in the hospital I used to work was closed, all the staff of this unit were also laid off. We were given cobra which ended in Oct 2013. I started to shop for insurance prior to it ending, was able to find coverage with BCBS @ about $475/mth, with no deductible, prescription included and only $30 for office visit to in network physicians. I waited until my cobra ended to decide to sign up for this insurance @ which time the ACA was already rolled out. To my amazement, they would not offer me the same plan. I was instructed to go the market place, where my premium was about $700/mth on an income of $51,000, with about $3,000 deductible and covering only 60% after the deductible was met. I make too much money to qualify for any low premium insurance, with a mortgage /other expenses. Since when does insurance premium have to be based on your earnings? Why not make all kinds of insurances available and let people decide what they want and if they can afford it. Health care system in America is broken, unfortunately, ACA might end up leaving some by the wayside unless it is revised.

carol, RN April 9, 2014 6:19 PM
Holmdel NJ

I have been an R.N. for 44 years & still work. The ENTIRE time I have been in nursing I have believed to my core that we need Universal Health care. I think the ACA is flawed as it rewards the insurance industry. I also agree that the profits for care in hospitals is obscene. Everyone should have the respect & dignity to receive health care. Capitalism is fine for businesses; but your fire dept. & police dept. do not bill for services & health care should be the same. Does it mean we pay more taxes? Maybe make the 1% & those who pay no taxes pay their share. Do I have lots of ideas how to cut out abuse? Sure- but until we get the PROFIT out of health care these companies (big pharma & medical device co.) will continue to gouge. I've seen so many lifesaving drugs not available because the companies no longer make enough profit. Until our elected officials work together for the GOOD of the PEOPLE this will never be fixed. Where are our morals?

Nancy King, Endoscopy - R.N., SRMH April 9, 2014 6:03 PM
Santa Rosa CA

The ACA is anything BUT affordable! My husband and I are in our mid-late 50's, and our premiums under the ACA would more than double than what we are paying now for his employer-based covereage. And based on our tax return for 2013 (I am currently self-employed and an RN to BSN student), we do not qualify for subsidies. Not that we would take them, but that's beside the point. This was supposed to be affordable health insurance for all, and that is not what it has turned out to be. Rather than force every US citizen to purchase this flawed product, why didn't the government just mandate changes to the insurance industry? Could it be because the insurance industry donated to the Democrats? Just sayin'.....

Alison, RN, CLNC April 9, 2014 6:00 PM
Palm City FL

I cannot believe you would even write an article like this. Obamacare is a JOKE!!! Yes, it is beneficial to NP's but the bigger picture is how HORRIFIC it is for our country. I do not appreciate my children's children having to pay for my generation making a huge mistake and voting for Obama. You should think more before you write articles like this and for all of you who concurred with her are flat out crazy.

christopher, medical officer April 9, 2014 5:56 PM
Oceanside CA

Pat, I am happy that you like the ACA. You are in the minority. My son who was laid off cannot get insurance because it is too expensive and he cannot afford the expensive monthly charge and the deductable. He is 36 years old and cannot be on our insurance.The insurance companies are loving this because the high deductables especially for the young healthy folks will not cost them anything if they get normal testing.  The premiums will be rising and the American people were lied to from Washington.Medicaide recipriants will continue to benefit but the middle class will continue to reduce. OUR ECONOMY IS FAILING DUE TO THE INFRINGEMENT ON OUR RIGHTS OF CHOICE.

carol , instructor - RN, boces April 9, 2014 5:52 PM
pleasantville NY

To All -

The impact on nursing has been significant and will continue to increase in magnitutde as the full reforms are implemented.  As a teacher in an on-line RN to BSN program I had many student enthusiastic about the Affordable Care Act but I cautioned them that the act is about money and the act was not fully funded - the half of trillion dollars in missing funding was to come from "lowering healthcare costs" which equated into "lowering healthcare payments".  This cost cutting would impact urses directly as 50% of all healthcare cost is salary and salary is the easiest cost to cut.

My classes now have nurses who have been laid off from healthcare settings that have closed, down-sized or changed missions.  Many newer nurses cannot get hired for more than 32 hours so they have no employee sponsored healthcare.  Many also complain that the Health Insurance Exchanges are too costly for them.  Many experienced nurses are being sent home without pay, so they are taking second and third jobs to ensure they have enough income to meet their debts.

The ACA had the most noble of ambitions in providing healthcare coverage for all but it failed by not having the dedicated funding to support it.  I ask an excited nurse if she is willing to pay for the ACA by taking a significant pay cut and her excitement fades.  But this reality is already present.

Mary, Health Care Admin - Nursing - VP Revenue Cycle, Hospital April 9, 2014 5:47 PM
Washington DC

ACA?  I don't remember a red star on our flag!?! As a health care professional, I agree that the costs have sky rocketed and  the insurance industry has been unchecked. If ANY attempt was to be made inthe insurance industry, maybe Washington should mandate ALL insurance companies to be "Not For Profit".  Use all the monies collected to pay claims.  Any why does am MRI cost $4,770.00 thru insurance, but only $510.00 with none.  So all the hospitals need to share the blame too.  Just a thought.....

Nick, RN - Medic April 9, 2014 5:23 PM

Are you kidding me Pat? I'm glad you can afford a plan with the new Obamacare! I don't have enough money to afford it as a single parent! Also, my 20 year old is now forced to buy a plan which she can't afford! She's a college student living far from home and can barely feed herself and now instead of concentrating on her studies, she has to work extra hours to pay for insurance she can't use because she can't make the deductibles and co pays.

So many people fall in the cracks with these plans. Either they make just a bit to much for medical assistance, which by the way you can be over their income limit by one dollar! Then they struggle after picking the cheapest plan to pay that only not to be able to afford the deductable!

People are dying now because insurance companies are dropping them or refusing their cancer medications! Why didn't Obama stop them from doing that? Why is that not a law?

This healthcare reform is a joke and is not adjusted to meet the needs of the lower to middle class citizens or young college aged students! I am embarrassed by our country and you should be too! But you go enjoy your new affordable insurance! Meanwhile people are literally unable to buy groceries over it, or dying from being dropped by current providers.

The USA is officially a communist country!!

Joann , Nursing - CNA, nursing home April 9, 2014 5:04 PM
none of yor business PA

I am 61 and have looked forward to retiring at 62. Because of Obamacare I can not do that. I have checked on insurance costs from age 55 to now. In my case they have risen 90% if I do not work. I actually had someone tell me that I do not qualify for a subsidy because I saved money for retirement. I am basically paying for my insurance and someone who either did not work or did not save money for retirement.%0d%0aIf you tell me you can not afford to save think again. I made $23000 a year with 4 kids until I got a degree. During those years I save $25 a month. It adds up after awhile.

Beth McKinnon April 9, 2014 4:56 PM
Rome GA

Of course the ACA needs time to work thru the issues but if politicians unable to get to that point, we may be in for a long wait.

iNSURANCE COMPANIES ALWAYS HAVE and will continue to have major input into health care policy.  Since most are stock companies,capitalism is the real issue since publicly traded companies have stockholders to answer to and if they don't show increased profits, the stock goes down and the stockholders including investment co's, ceos and key employees lose money and they sell causing prices to fall further.

There is such pressure to show ever increasing profits that it leads to this wage flatline we've seen  where public co's can't show increased labor costs or else they get their stock price hammered. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a desire in congress to find the right balance between profit and fairness to humanity. Its really a sad state of affairs for such an otherwise great country.

rob, MS - RN April 9, 2014 4:52 PM
tampa FL

I think years from now when the full impact is felt from the ACA, it will go down in history as one of the worst laws ever passed!  One of the things that first struck me was the BILLIONS of dollars that will be cut from Medicare.  We are talking about the sickest of our population.  They are a vulnerable population and to rob Peter (the elderly) to pay Paul (the uninsured) is just plain wrong!!!!  Of course if you cut healthcare benefits to the elderly maybe they will die sooner??? That will mean less social security to be paid out.  You can't convince me that some number cruncher up in Washington has not thought of this!  It's becoming scary to grow old in America!

Beth Edwards, Primary Care - FNP April 9, 2014 4:40 PM

I recently retired from nursing after 34 years, and started a new profession, running my own business.  I love my new job, but starting out I took a serious pay cut.  COBRA benefits from the old hospital job were far too expensive and don't last in any case- in a nutshell, I was totally uninsured until the ACA kicked in.  

I now have basic coverage at a very affordable rate.  As my incomes grows I'll be able to afford more upper end coverage, but for now I'm protected from catastrophic medical expenses, and can go to the doc for basic care, checkups, and emergencies.  ACA is not perfect, but it's a BIG step forward!  

Most of the anti-ACA propaganda is just that- propaganda.  It rests heavily on demonizing and blame- uninsured people are "takers", looking for a handout.  The people making these attacks are typically multi-millionaire congressmen and their wealthy cronies- people who have gotten more perks, favors, and handouts from government than an ordinary person sees in a lifetime.  It's beyond hypocritical.

Obviously, ACA has flaws and limitations.  Changing how care is paid for doesn't address the issue of over-utilization, for example.  And yes, this legislation strengthens the position and profitability of private insurance companies.  Hardly surprising, for a plan that was developed in a corporate think tank and first promoted by a Republican governor.  It's more realistic to see ACA as the start of a reform process, not the end.  But it's a good start.

Henry, Retired - RN April 9, 2014 4:31 PM
Glen Burnie MD

While I am glad to hear Pat now has health insurance her comments about affordability of health insurance since the Affordable Care Act was implemented defy logic.  All across the country premiums have risen dramatically due to the additional requirments the ACA forced into your policy and mine.  I'm middle aged male but my policy mandates coverage for things like birth control and abortion that I have no need for.  And in my great state of Delaware premiums have risen 100%.  So, to read between the lines...I'm guessing Pat qualified for a "subsidy" to offset her cost of insurance.  Most of us don't and therefore pay far more now, than before.  More and more hospitals and docs are not included in the networks for ACA policies and in the near future our once great healthcare system will be broken and beyond repair unless this insane bill is over turned.

Dave, ER - RN April 9, 2014 4:22 PM
Dover DE

It pains me to see professional nurses who do not understand capitalism. Everyone talks like there is the Wizard behind the curtain pulling the lever. Health care costs money. Where does that money come from? Where do insurance companies get the money? If we go to a single payer, where does that money come from. Get real. We are still a capitalist nation and until that changes. Health care still costs dollars. Where do those dollars come from?

Teresa Lane April 9, 2014 4:15 PM
Ellijay GA


ACA is NOT affordable!

lin, retired - RN April 9, 2014 4:13 PM
Ft.Lauderdale FL

I agree that our healthcare system is broken, but Obamacare did not fix it. It has caused more problems. Healthcare is not "free". Someone pays for it. If a person is not working, then we who are working are paying for it. What is needed is some accountability among those using the system. If all had to pay the $200 deductible that I would have to pay to go to the ED, they wouldn't take their child with a sore throat there. People need to be educated as to the true nature of an emergency.

Kathy Gensel, Pediatrics - APN, UICOMP April 9, 2014 4:05 PM
Peoria IL

I have seen how the government helps those without insurance.  My father was a doctor for many years and he saw people regardless of their ability to pay.  The difference from then to now is that people WOULD NOT go to the doctor for every little ache and pain.  They went when it was really needed.  Once the government stepped in and told my dad "we are here to save your ass" and introduced Medicaid, it went downhill from there.  His office was packed with patients and when he asked how he could help them, the reply for most would be, oh I'm not sick but since I have Medicaid now I thought I would come in and see you.  Now not all the patients did this (back then there was such as thing as pride) but his patient load increased substantially.

Now look at Medicaid.  It is the most abused system every created and the government turns a blind eye.  I know this because when I worked in the ER at a large metropolis hospital, there was one agent that welcomed my reports of abuse.  He finally gave up because he said that no one at the government level would help or support him.  I had one young lady come in for a sore throat (she had to get to work).  When she asked for a work excuse, I asked her what type of work she does (for the excuse) and she stated she has worked as a ticket agent with Delta for 5 years.  I then tuned to her financial page and read to her what she told the registrar.  Unemployed and on Medicaid.  I told her she had falsified a federal document and I could turn her in.  She panicked and told me that she never took out insurance with Delta because the government never took her Medicaid away and since she did not have to pay for it, she kept it.  She agreed to correct the information and I then gave her the excuse.

This is just one example out of many I had and who knows how many more people are "lying".  

No the government does not need to take over any type of Health Care Insurance.  I am all for them setting standards for insurance companies to follow that deny coverage, care etc.  

Just my 2 cents worth.

Cindy, ER, Oncology - RN, BSN April 9, 2014 4:03 PM
Marietta GA

Finally!! Voices of reason verbalizing what they are knowledgable about! I am frustrated with The News Channels not showing any positive, knowledgeable  remarks during prime time hours. Thank you for making your thoughts public!

Judith, Psych - RN, Retired April 9, 2014 3:57 PM
Lemont IL

If you do your homework the Insurance Companies were the authors of the ACA, and are more powerful now than before.  More people lost their coverage then those who signed up for ACA, somehow that is not mentioned. Sure they got coverage after they were dropped, and they are counted as new signups. Somehow making the numbers fit for the administration is a photo opp only.

I am all for every single person should have coverage, but everyone should have the same access and cost.  The single payer system was so much more reasonable, but the Suits in DC gave up on this as it was successfully lobbied against by the same Insurance compaines who sat at the table writing the regulations for the ACA.  

cindy, nursing/public health ltc UR - Admission RN, vrm April 9, 2014 3:42 PM
troy NY

Agreed Ms. Pat!!!

Audra, LTC - RN April 1, 2014 9:37 AM
Jackson WY

Amen, sister. There really is a desperate need for affordable health care. Because it is so new there will be 'Labor Pains'. But  things will eventually smooth out and our grandchildren will wonder what all the fuss was about. And the Insurance and Pharma companies will eventually lose their power. Well, we can only hope.

Barbara, Public Health - Nurse March 31, 2014 8:43 PM

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About this Blog

    Pat Veitenthal, BSN, RN
    Occupation: Per diem nursing supervisor and cruise ship nurse
    Setting: Community hospital and cruise ships
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