My fellow nurses and I are celebrating National Nurses Week this year by using it as an opportunity to make sure everyone in Nevada knows about the positive changes that the Affordable Care Act has made in the lives of nurses, patients and our community.
I have a real appreciation for what access to timely, quality care can mean because I am a nurse--but also because my husband is the recipient of a kidney transplant which saved his life.
As a nurse I have worked with many transplant patients and seen the dramatic difference that they have experienced after surgery - life before and life after a transplant is a world apart. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed the negative impacts of a healthcare system in which insurance companies--not healthcare providers--were given free reign to make decisions with regards to 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 tragic 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.
As my husband prepares for his second kidney transplant, I feel such relief knowing this law is in place. I fought hard to pass the Affordable Care Act and will make sure that people know the benefits of the law.
Visit www.seiu.org/nurses for more on Nurses Week 2012.