So with all the craziness befuddling many Wisconsinites lately a new tightly kept secret was finally brought to light. Governor Scott Walker has not only gutted Badgercare (Wisconsin's Medicaid) which many farmers rely on as well as low income and buy ins by people who have two part time jobs for instance, Seniorcare which is an RX drug program for low income Seniors (which had a $20mil surplus), cut the end-stage chronic renal program, and Familycare which helps to pay for long term care for disabled and poor elderly individuals. Also, there is absolutely no nurse to patient mandated ratio in Wisconsin (let alone hourly mandates).
Many of our hospitals that give care to Medicaid patients are already overburdened as we have had hospitals close, not to mention the many who have lost insurance only going in when they catastrophically need emergency care. This is going to shift the costs to hospitals who will then do two things, raise rates on cash paying patients, and cut staff to the smallest possible amount even if that means 12 patients to a nurse, as I see it anyway.
Most hospital systems are non-profit but having worked for one that is supposedly religious in nature, I can assure you it is a farce in some cases as I worked on the "for-profit" side. It is hard enough as a new RN to find a job but with hospitals tightening their belts not only do I fear it hard to find a job (even at a nursing home), I fear the patient safety aspect of this.
It has been well documented that not only hourly mandates over 12 hours but high nurse to patient ratios can be directly tied to medical error and patient mortality. Is it going to even be safe to practice nursing in my state?
I love my state so dearly and if what I fear happens, I fear our world-class award winning health care system will look like one of a third-world country, little supplies, rationing care, deciding monetarily if a life is worth saving because "we cannot afford it".
What are your thoughts?