Wisconsin has gutted Medicaid, no mandated ratios!

  1. 3 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?
  2. Visit  EponaRN profile page

    About EponaRN

    EponaRN has '2' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Psychiatric'. From 'Milwaukee, WI, US'; Joined Jan '11; Posts: 32; Likes: 54.

    122 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  EponaRN profile page
    2
    Should have said high patient to nurse ratio, oopsies
    lindarn and Faeriewand like this.
  4. Visit  netglow profile page
    2
    Wow. Just wow. I know that already a few hospitals in SE WI have for the past year or so been just hiring PT nurses too and with they hourly pay rate so low to begin with. You gotta wonder if it is smart to start into nursing if you need to make any kind of money to pay your bills.
    lindarn and Faeriewand like this.
  5. Visit  new_worker profile page
    5
    12 patients to one nurse NOOOOOOO WAYYYYYYY

    6 is enough to work with already
    nicurn001, NaKcl, GooeyRN, and 2 others like this.
  6. Visit  Faeriewand profile page
    1
    Excellent comments Epona! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to reading the responses to this thread.
    lindarn likes this.
  7. Visit  caregiver1977 profile page
    4
    I fear what is/has happened in Wisconsin is only going to spread to other states.
    VickyRN, lindarn, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
  8. Visit  anon695 profile page
    5
    Quote from patient1977
    I fear what is/has happened in Wisconsin is only going to spread to other states.
    Not if everybody gets out to vote, and votes against the far-right.
    drmorton2b, Nurse Leigh, Nurserandy, and 2 others like this.
  9. Visit  OldNurseEducator profile page
    3
    Very unfortunately, I think this is just the beginning...!
    caregiver1977, lindarn, and tewdles like this.
  10. Visit  kaybrn profile page
    17
    This has nothing to do with the "far right" as you call it. The country is broke. States have no choice but to cut their budgets. We can not continue to rack up massive debt in this country. We are bankrupting our children's futures.
    ammonthenephite, VickyRN, piglett, and 14 others like this.
  11. Visit  2011NursingStudent profile page
    1
    Wisconsin already has a high income tax rate (7%). If they can't afford to provide free healthcare, they can't afford it. You can't tax people much higher than 7% to the state, plus what they pay in Federal and other taxes.

    People are going to have to purchase individual policies, or go to clinics, doctors that accept cash, etc. When we were uninsured we called around and found a doctor that took cash and paid a fraction of what he would have charged if he had to bill insurance.

    It's not hopeless and the state is dealing with their debt, I'm sure it will be safe to practice nursing in that state. As far as I can tell, that program only existed since 2006, so I doubt it was unsafe to practice nursing in Wisconsin at all times prior to 2006.
    piglett likes this.
  12. Visit  imintrouble profile page
    3
    Each of us as nurses see Medicaid abuse everyday. ERs are hit especially hard. The system is broken. There is no money. States are going broke. Hospitals are closing.
    I have always thought that if the abuse was cleaned up, there might be money to take care of those who the program was intended for in the first place.
    Whose job is it to report abuse when everybody in the hospital, from CEO down to CNA, know it's going on?
    Hospitals don't operate for free. Doesn't make them big old bad money grubbing operations. Would any of us work without a paycheck?
    I don't know what the answer is. I simply could not care for 12 acutely ill pts. I'd either kill one of them or myself trying. But, if cuts are necessary to maintain Medicaid's solvency, where do they come from?
    What I witnessed in WI, as is happening in alot of states, everyone recognizes that cuts must be made. Everyone. Everyone is just not me.
  13. Visit  EponaRN profile page
    7
    Here's the thing, you can make cuts but the drastic cuts that were made were not thought through. Also, why then give away tax breaks to Corporations? I find it ironic that one cannot step outside of the political points on this and see this is not shared sacrifice, this is sacrifice of the middle class. Our entitlement programs in this State are not in the red, they were raided to "balance" the budget. Many people pay into Badgercare with premiums because they cannot afford the insurance through their workplace. Many farmers rely on this as one farmer put it "I work 100 hours a week in the fields, and my wife at Wal-Mart, this will put a complete hardship on our family as we cannot afford marketplace insurance" This isn't about left vs. right. Sure we need to get our fiscal house in order but if you are okay with working in a non-mandated ratio state where your hospitals are flooded with uninsured patients then please come to Wisconsin! We ALL know uninsured patients come in when they are catastrophically ill so try taking care of 12 of those! This isn't about taxes, it is about patient safety!
    VanLpn, lindarn, tewdles, and 4 others like this.
  14. Visit  EponaRN profile page
    3
    Quote from 2011NursingStudent
    Wisconsin already has a high income tax rate (7%). If they can't afford to provide free healthcare, they can't afford it. You can't tax people much higher than 7% to the state, plus what they pay in Federal and other taxes.

    People are going to have to purchase individual policies, or go to clinics, doctors that accept cash, etc. When we were uninsured we called around and found a doctor that took cash and paid a fraction of what he would have charged if he had to bill insurance.

    It's not hopeless and the state is dealing with their debt, I'm sure it will be safe to practice nursing in that state. As far as I can tell, that program only existed since 2006, so I doubt it was unsafe to practice nursing in Wisconsin at all times prior to 2006.
    It is only "free" to people who are below the federal poverty line, many people pay into the system premiums because they cannot afford insurance in the marketplace. Many farmers rely on this and even some nurses who work 2 part time jobs who do not give benefits. If he was so concerned with money, he would truly share the sacrifice and not give away more tax breaks to the Corporations. This isn't about whether or not I think we need to fix our fiscal house, this is about patient safety, my license, and my freedom. We can go to jail for negligence a there is no law mandating ratios, our malpractice insurance could go sky high as well. Think outside of the box of "taxes" please.
    lindarn, Faeriewand, and David13 like this.


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