By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
It seems like the idea of universal healthcare in America (emphasis on the word “idea”) has been a popular notion for the politicians and the people for as long as flying cars have been discussed. Although if the automakers can create “green” flying cars, then that notion may still have legs. Universal health care may be a little trickier.
The current administration has slapped a $600 billion dollar price tag on “health care reform,” while placing more emphasis on the results they would like to achieve, rather than on how on earth they’ll be able to do achieve those results. Isn’t that like writing a nursing care plan with the nursing diagnosis and outcomes and no planned interventions? Could it be that the administration has no idea how they’re going to do it and they’re hiding behind the promise of utopia?
The first issue I have is with the wording – health care “reform.” Since we don’t currently have anything resembling universal health care how is it reform versus a complete recycling and starting from scratch? Health insurance is distributed on a situational basis, by employment status, financial ability or government aid. Not to point out the obvious, but that’s why a lot of people don’t have it – their personal situation doesn’t facilitate medical care.
Next, there is there is the obvious issue of how we could even implement such a plan that would give every single American access to health care. Since the new census has just started, the powers-that-be may be quite surprised by how many Americans that is. Last I heard, they were still trying to figure out how to provide Tamiflu for every American if need be, due to the H1N1 virus.
On top of all this Forbes.com recently concluded that countries that already have implemented universal health care are experiencing a lot more economic trouble than the U.S. and that their health care costs aren’t exactly under control either.
I don’t mean to be the doomsday blogger, but I believe that these are legitimate questions to ask of our leaders. Especially for nurses and travel nurses who are caring for an aging population of patients who have either limited access or no access to medical care.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.