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#AMAGetOutTheWay: Nurses, Doctors, and Students United

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by Melissa Mills Melissa Mills, BSN (Member) Writer Innovator Verified

Melissa Mills has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Health and Wellness Writing, Leadership.

9 Followers; 108 Articles; 21,396 Visitors; 266 Posts

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Imagine a scene of nurses, physicians, and healthcare students standing united to fight for an issue. Well, you don't have to imagine anymore. On Saturday, June 8th, this precise scenario played out as united healthcare workers protested the American Medical Associations annual meeting. Discover why and what it might mean for health coverage across the country.

#AMAGetOutTheWay: Nurses, Doctors, and Students United

On Saturday, June 8th nurses, doctors, and medical students stood side-by-side to protest the American Medical Association’s (AMA) annual meeting in Chicago. The AMA, which was founded in 1847, is a large, powerful, and wealthy lobbying group. However, it seems that many young physicians and medical students don’t agree with the work done by the group. In fact, in 2016, it was reported that the AMA only represented about 25 percent of practicing physicians. This decrease was a significant change from just a few decades ago when nearly 75 percent of all physicians were members.

#AMAGetOutTheWay

If you perform a quick social media search for #AMAGetOutTheWay, you will find support from many healthcare professionals fighting for Medicare for all. Experts believe that adopting a Medicare for all system in the United States would allow us to join the ranks of the rest of the industrialized world where health coverage is universal. They also feel that this would save money and improve health outcomes.

Protesters feel that the AMA isn’t fighting for the right initiatives. Adam Gaffney, President for Physicians for a National Health Program and an instructor at the Harvard Medical School, made his feelings known at the rally. “The AMA is not fighting for their patients, they’re not fighting for the uninsured, and they’re not fighting for the underinsured. We’re here today because the AMA is again on the wrong side of history.”

Other groups well-represented at the rally included Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP), National Nurses United, People’s Action, and The Center for Popular Democracy. SNaHP published on their website that showing up at the rally showed support by “taking a stand AGAINST corporate greed, misleading advertising, and the profit motive of health care.” National Nurses United is the largest union and professional association for registered nurses and supports Medicare for All.

What is HR 1384?

Medicare for all isn’t just a catchy slogan used by Democrats like Bernie Sanders. It’s a legislative proposal, HR 1384,  that would create a nationwide health insurance program for all U.S residents. A single-payer system such as this would replace the current mixed healthcare system which includes private and public health programs. It also has a provision to allow people to purchase public coverage during a transitional period to this new system.

Who Would Be Covered?

HR 1384 aims to provide coverage to all U.S. residents, documented immigrants, and even undocumented people. The program would prohibit anyone from being excluded because of citizenship status.

How Would it be Funded?

This single-payer system would not require premiums to be paid. However, it would require new federal taxes for both businesses and individuals.

What Would Be Covered?

All medical care would be covered under this system. Those who support HR 1384 proudly boast that it would also cover reproductive health services. This would include maternity and newborn care.

The Power of Unity

Regardless of your opinions about HR 1384, the rally in Chicago is an example of what could happen when healthcare workers come together. It’s estimated that there over one million physicians and nearly three million nurses in the U.S. Imagine how workplace problems and care deficiencies could be approached with this type of unity.

Would we be able to solve some of the top problems that plague healthcare? Just think for a minute how discussions about safe staffing, workplace violence, and long working hours might change if these two “strong-in-number” groups stormed the offices of administration and lawmakers across the nation.

Where Do You Stand?

There are so many different conversations that could come from this one event. Do you support a Medicare for all system? And, what do you think about the unity that was displayed at this protest? Oh, and what other issues do you think a unified front could impact?

Let’s start there for now. Tell us what you think!

Melissa is a professor, medical writer, and business owner. She has been a nurse for over 20 years and enjoys combining her nursing knowledge and passion for the written word. She is available for writing, editing, and coaching services. You can see more of her work at www.melissamills.net.

9 Followers; 108 Articles; 21,396 Visitors; 266 Posts

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2,599 Visitors; 482 Posts

I'm not a fan of the single payer system, especially in today's environment because it would be swamped with corruption and people would suffer more as a result. If states expanded Medicaid many would be better off. Instead, Congress is voting to give themselves raises while faux fighting for the news cameras and talking points.

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology.

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Id be for a medicare for all system and getting rid of/reducing the role of private insurance. I think people are fed up with being denied treatment and medications because the physicians who work for the private insurance said so. I think the best way is to have a single payer and the option to buy supplemental private insurance if you want something done faster. 

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Mini2544 has 1 years experience.

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Ah that was just another liberal temper tantrum protest. Medicare for all, and covering illegal immigrants is one of the most insane and irresponsible ideas in today’s political climate. Our healthcare system needs an overhaul but this not the solution nor will it ever be adopted. Yes please flood our country with sick people who break the American immigration laws and the tax payer will gladly fund your healthcare. I don’t know if it’s some kind of mental illness that makes people think this type of policy is ok or what. It’s quite disturbing either way. 

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Do you support a Medicare for all system? No. "The program would prohibit anyone from being excluded because of citizenship status." Agree with Mini 2544 "most insane and irresponsible idea"

And, what do you think about the unity that was displayed at this protest? Unity? "On Saturday, June 8th nurses, doctors, and medical students stood side-by-side to protest the American Medical Association’s (AMA) annual meeting in Chicago." No mention of nurses until later stating well represented by National Nurses United (150,000 members nationwide, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history). Well represented-what's the number of NNU members present please.  ANA, a professional nurses organization, has 4 million nurses, just saying.

Oh, and what other issues do you think a unified front could impact? What were the results of this protest? Just says they protested.

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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This is one of the rare issues where I disagree with NNU. There are of course certain advantages to socialized healthcare, but there are also important disadvantages and it is a contentious political issue that divides nurses.

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FullGlass has 1 years experience as a BSN, MSN.

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Single payor healthcare is not the only way to achieve universal health care coverage.  I'm so tired of people assuming this.

1.  There are other countries with models that may be better.  Germany is a good example.  There are 4 or 5 private health insurance companies and everyone MUST purchase health insurance.  However, the government regulates the price so it is quite reasonable and affordable.  I assume the truly destitute get government help for this.

2.  Why not consider a free market, capitalist approach?  If we look at plastic surgery, which is a cash business, prices have come way, way down and quality has dramatically increased.  Many of my patients go to Mexico and surgeries that would cost thousands of dollars here in the US cost a few hundred dollars, because the patients pay cash (and they are getting excellent results).  

3.  Direct Primary Care or various co-op type approaches to primary care.  Patients pay a nominal fee, like $50 to $100 per month for all you can eat primary care.  This would allow the sale of catastrophic only health insurance, which could be done quite cheaply.

4.  Allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines and end state-level monopolies.

5.  Medicare for all or Medicaid for all could be options, but they must be purchased with premiums.  I am not willing to pay a huge amount of taxes.

6.  Mandate price transparency.

 

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Mini2544 has 1 years experience.

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1 hour ago, FullGlass said:

Single payor healthcare is not the only way to achieve universal health care coverage.  I'm so tired of people assuming this.

1.  There are other countries with models that may be better.  Germany is a good example.  There are 4 or 5 private health insurance companies and everyone MUST purchase health insurance.  However, the government regulates the price so it is quite reasonable and affordable.  I assume the truly destitute get government help for this.

2.  Why not consider a free market, capitalist approach?  If we look at plastic surgery, which is a cash business, prices have come way, way down and quality has dramatically increased.  Many of my patients go to Mexico and surgeries that would cost thousands of dollars here in the US cost a few hundred dollars, because the patients pay cash (and they are getting excellent results).  

3.  Direct Primary Care or various co-op type approaches to primary care.  Patients pay a nominal fee, like $50 to $100 per month for all you can eat primary care.  This would allow the sale of catastrophic only health insurance, which could be done quite cheaply.

4.  Allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines and end state-level monopolies.

5.  Medicare for all or Medicaid for all could be options, but they must be purchased with premiums.  I am not willing to pay a huge amount of taxes.

6.  Mandate price transparency.

 

👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Maybe you should go to Washington and sit in front of your state senators office until they listen to you. All great ideas. 

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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That’s why I hate NNU endorsing single payer so strongly. Some of us are progressives/ socialists, who may be more inclined to back Sanders or say Biden, while others are conservative, or libertarians who supported Trump. However, we are all nurses and there are many issues like ratio laws where our consensus is probably at least 80% in support. However, Medicare for all is probably more like a 60/40 issue (split close to overall voting trends) and is quite divisive. I can think of at least five good reasons to support such a policy, and five why it would be a poor choice. 

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

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I won't pretend to have any good ideas to change the current system. All I know is it needs to change. It's not just a single payer system that can come riding in on a white horse to magically fix things.

Let's start with big pharma. How does a single payer system affect that?  I recently took care of a short term resident that is diabetic. She had no idea what her blood sugars usually run because she rarely checked. That's because she couldn't afford to buy the supplies even with her health coverage. She's just lucky she is relatively stable and never had a catastrophic event.  She's even luckier she didn't rely on huge doses of insulin to remain stable. What is up with the crazy price increases there?  So let's maybe start health care reform by finding some way to rein in the pharmaceutical companies before any other changes in payer system's is discussed. Otherwise big pharma will quickly work on bankrupting whatever payer source is ultimately put in place.

That right there might be the biggest current argument for changing to a government funded payer source. The government might be the only entity big enough and with enough bargaining power to force some changes in pharmacy costs. 

But I also can't get behind the bill as currently written. I am more on the liberal side politically but I can't bring myself to support health care for all when it includes undocumented foreign nationals getting all the advantages of government funded healthcare without paying anything into it.   

I can get behind price controls and giving people choices beyond either employer offered insurance or private insurance through the state's options. The state exchanges are a joke. I live in a border town and if I was willing to move a short distance away to another state I could get better coverage at half the price.  This is where I would love a third option for federal insurance to be offered.  Not  necessarily to be made the only choice but at least to be offered as a choice.

Edited by kbrn2002

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It doesn’t surprise me that it’s the younger people advocating this; to be young is to be idealistic, and to be mature is to be realistic. Socialism doesn’t work, ask people living in countries with socialized medicine whether it has eliminated the problems or just created different ones. I’ll take our imperfect system any day. If we switched the focus to prevention (nutrition, exercise, other lifestyle changes) instead of looking for medication to treat the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle we would take away some of the power from greedy pharma and reduce the overall health care costs, thus driving down insurance costs. Giving tax payer funded health care to illegal aliens is insanity. I’m a nurse AND a taxpayer, and I’m tired of footing the bill for everything under the sun.

 

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology.

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I agree with a lot of this. As a nurse I don't want my taxes going up nor do I want to support people who dont pay into and sometimes abuse the system. I agree that we need to educate and promote lifestyle changes instead of relying on medications and procedures, however, there also needs to be changes to the system such as medication prices (and really prices in general). Lobbyists also need to be reigned in (this includes hospitals, physicians, pharmacy, the food industry). 

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