Working families across the country are experiencing a wide range of emotions following the elections--and never before have our voices as nurse advocates ever been more important.
Like so many others, I have reflected on the progress we've made over the years and how much of that is now in jeopardy due to extremists in Washington, D.C., and our own state capitals. I've seen firsthand in Wisconsin how a governor's anti-worker agenda weakens our voice and threatens our local economy.
Now, congressional Republicans are trying to rush through a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would take away healthcare from more than 22 million Americans with no plan to replace it. Anyone with a pre-existing condition will go back to being at the mercy of insurance companies. Older Americans, children and people with disabilities who get their healthcare through Medicaid would be left to fend for themselves.
I can’t sit back and let the world I was born into as an African American woman be the one I would die in. Or give up on the union voice we’ve built to advance quality care and our careers. Or turn our backs on patients in need of affordable care.
Sisters and brothers, we must unite and show these extremists that we are unstoppable in our fight for our patients, our families and our communities.
I had the chance to recently join Nurse Alliance members and other union nurses at a conference at Rutgers University to share best practices in the ever-changing world of healthcare and labor. Seeing so many nurses from across the country united together renewed my hope and has inspired me to take action.
Time and time again, we're called upon as nurses to take charge in challenging circumstances. We've reached beyond what we thought was possible and we'll do it again. Just this week, more than 200 SEIU nurses, doctors and healthcare workers met with congressional leaders to ask for their plan to improve care for every American.
Do your part right now to be informed, stand up and reach out. Watch and share this video and tell your member of Congress to put care first. Call 866-426-2631 today and tell them: The Affordable Care Act should not be repealed without a plan to keep and improve the healthcare of our patients, including vital services such as Medicaid.
In Unity, Dian Palmer, RN Chair, Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare
Quality, Affordable Healthcare at Risk
We cannot allow Rep. Price to put the health of seniors, children and working people at risk, SEIU, Nov. 29, 2016 SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and Dr. Eve Kellner, president of the Committee of Interns and Residents, issued a statement in response to President-elect Trump’s plan to nominate Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of Health and Human Services.
Uncertainty over health law not scaring away enrollees in states, Kaiser Health News, Dec. 1, 2016 Despite campaign promises to take quick action to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), enrollment numbers exceed previous years--an indication that working women and men need this source of affordable coverage.
Beyond birth control, women could pay more for insurance again under Trumpcare, Kaiser Health Network, Nov. 29, 2016 Losing access to free contraceptives isn’t the only health benefit at stake for women’s healthcare, guaranteed maternity coverage, cancer and sexually transmitted disease screenings, and breastfeeding support are also at risk.
Top five threats to children and families posed by a Medicaid block grant, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Nov. 22, 2016 A repeal of the ACA wouldn’t just end Medicaid expansion and other protections for basic care for children and families, substantial changes to the program and spending cuts are expected.
Health and Safety
Union nurses and healthcare workers win groundbreaking regulation to make sure 'violence is not part of the job' SEIU Nurse Alliance of California members and union healthcare workers in California are celebrating the unanimous approval of the California OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Standard for Healthcare. This groundbreaking regulation is the first of its kind to protect all workers from violence-related injuries at every healthcare facility in the state, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and correctional facilities.
SEIU Local 121RN President Gayle Batiste hopes this regulation is only the beginning. "My only wish now is for this standard to be adopted at the federal level for all workers," Batiste said. "No one should go to work in fear of not coming home; violence is not part of the job."
Why violence for nurses has spiked in the last decade, The Atlantic, Dec. 1, 2016
Joint Commission launches online resource center to prevent workplace violence in healthcare (Press release), The Joint Commission, Oct. 4, 2016
What We're Reading
Scientists think the common cold may be beatable, STAT News, Oct. 20, 2016 It’s estimated that colds cost an estimated $25 billion a year due to the drop in productivity, including sick workers and parents staying home to care for their children. Could a vaccine be in the works?
Study: Dangerous bacteria can end up on nurses' scrubs, Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy, Oct. 27, 2016 A recent study finds that nurses’ scrubs can be a source of bacterial transmission and reiterates the importance of hand washing and use of gowns in hospital infection control practices.
More hospitals are refusing to sell sugary drinks. And that’s angering some workers, STAT News, Oct. 24, 2016 Workers and visitors have mixed reviews of the growing number of hospitals responding to the obesity epidemic by removing sugar-sweetened drinks from the cafeteria and vending machines.
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