Letters — January 2014
Navigate the Affordable Care Act
Re: Page 7 in November AACN Bold Voices
The Affordable Care Act continues to have its share of controversy and launch challenges, but I think it is my obligation to be a health professional who has factual information when my patients, family, friends and others ask me about the new law and their options.
HRSA.gov/AffordableCareAct/Toolkit.html, which was provided in the November issue, answered many of my questions.
It includes an article on 10 things a provider needs to know and many educational materials and graphics available for download. I appreciate having this helpful resource shared with us as members of the AACN community.
I am highly disappointed with AACN taking the position that nurses should, “download resources for patients, including a step-by-step enrollment guide, brochures and posters” and “access Health Insurance Marketplace presentations to educate colleagues, patients and community members.”
AACN presumes all nurses are on board with the Affordable Care Act. This nurse is not. How can you ask healthcare professionals to support something that doesn't even work?
I take the best care of my patients regardless of their insurance status. It is not [my] responsibility to advise people on insurance coverage.
This boldly crosses an ethical threshold that should not be crossed. If AACN expects us to be a propaganda spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, it will only be a matter of time before the care we receive will be based on the insurance plan we carry.
Giving Thanks ... for Failure
Re: Page 22 in November AACN Bold Voices
I couldn’t agree more with Vicki Good’s message about failure. I remember as if it were yesterday one time when I didn’t step forward to perform a test that might have provided more information and made it possible for someone’s lungs to be recovered and transplanted.
Today, as an advanced practice donation specialist in our organ procurement organization, my role is to maximize heart and lung recovery. My failure 12 years ago continues to encourage and support me to step forward and be insistent. AACN’s theme has become mine.
Thank You for Saving My Life
How do I thank an organization and one individual for saving my life? AACN’s Greater Portland Chapter and Christine Kessler did that.
During last year’s chapter symposium, Ms. Kessler’s presentation, “The Entero-Endocrine System: The New Frontier of Metabolic Medicine,” profoundly moved me and became my wake-up call.
I weighed 452 pounds. Walking even a short block was a struggle with shortness of breath, knee pain and leg pain from an ulcer.
I immediately got care for the ulcer and scheduled an appointment to learn about bariatric surgery, which I had last June. My mental attitude toward my lifestyle has completely changed.
I’m halfway to my weight goal and my leg ulcer has healed. My jean size dropped from 30 to 22. Not only can I walk a long city block, but my exercise regimen includes regular elliptical and weight training.
All this because my chapter planned and presented a magnificent symposium with top-notch speakers. And because I listened.
I wonder what I’ll learn during this year’s program.
Lynne M. Downs
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