Hey! The Doublemint Twins became nurses!
This must be their “How to make a wrinkle in a bedsheet class!”
Either that or they made hospital corners every twelve inches back then!
What’s with the dark cuffs and shoulder insignia?
Some sort of military uniform?
Back in January, I wrote a piece entitled “Health Care is NOT an Entitlement“.
I still believe that.
But I have found a proposal for a national plan that might actually work.
It isn’t socialized medicine and while it is a national health care insurance, it is administered at the state and local level and not by a government agency.
I was looking for references for my issue paper: Health Care: Commodity or Right. I was looking for something that would support my position that national health insurance would never work in the United States.
I believe that health care is a commodity in that it must be paid for. But, there may be a way to actually do it and cover everybody.
And that means everybody.
With free choice of provider, hospital, medications and tests. With health care where it belongs, between the doctor (or nurse practitioner) and the patient. Period.
What happened to make me hopeful?
I found the website for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).
I would suggest you check out the following pages if you are new to their proposal:
- New To Single Payer? This gives a very succinct overview of what they consider to be important in a single-payer plan.
- Then check out Frequently Asked Questions. Everything you could want to know, from what is covered to what will happen to salaries to how it will be paid for is addressed.
But I wondered. What about nurses?
So I wrote a letter to the PNHP and asked about the projected effect on nursing salaries. PNHP staff member Dave Howell responded to my inquiry promptly.
This proposal has been out there for many years. Dave quotes from the 1989 proposal:
- “Each hospital would receive an annual lump-sum payment to cover all operating expenses – a “global” budget. The amount of this payment would be negotiated with the state national health program payment board and would be based on past expenditures, previous financial and clinical performance, projected changes in levels of services, wages and other costs, and proposed new and innovative programs.”
Dave assures me that nursing salaries are a priority in this program. He also notes, again from the 1989 proposal, the effect on health care workers in general under this program.
- Nurses and other health care personnel would enjoy a more humane and efficient clinical milieu. The burdens of paperwork associated with billing would be lightened. The jobs of many administrative and insurance employees would be eliminated, necessitating a major effort at job placement and retraining. We advocate that many of these displaced workers be deployed in expanded programs of public health, health promotion and education, and home care and as support personnel to free nurses for clinical tasks.”
Less administrative duties and more time for patient care.
Works for me.
And while I differ politically on many issues with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, they are the reason the salaries and the working conditions here in California are among the best in the nation.
They are working with the PNHP to get this proposal off the ground, and they would not allow nurses to get the short shrift.
This proposal was enough to make me look at my preconceptions.
I believe this program would work.
There is too much information for me to add here in one blog post.
Visit the site.
Check out the pages I have linked to.
Tell me what you think.
It made this hard core private-insurance supporter believe medical coverage for everyone is not only possible, but affordable.
You may be very surprised.