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The NSPA Blog

The Affordable Care Act and the Uninsured of America: What can we expect?

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Posted on October 28th, 2012 by Teri Dreher, under Affordable Care Act

With the election right around the corner, no matter which side of the political debate people stand on, trouble looms ahead for citizens and undocumented immigrants navigating the maze of health care in years to come. Proponents of the “Obamacare” plan are excited about the dramatic effect the law promises to have on an estimated 50 million Americans who are presently uninsured. Theoretically, the expansion of insurance and Medicaid coverage should provide access to the healthcare system for many people. Hospitals are cautiously optimistic, as there is now hope for at least SOME reimbursement from the thousands of patients going through their doors yearly who have no ability to pay any of their hospital bills. So far, the healthcare system has been absorbing the cost of lost revenues, writing the losses off on their taxes, leading to increased costs of healthcare for everyone, as hospitals fight to survive. What most people do not realize is that a sizeable portion of our population will be even more vulnerable than before. For roughly 11 million undocumented people living in the US, the ACA will make it even more difficult to gain access to primary health care. They will no longer be lumped together with the uninsured citizens of this country who have been receiving either free or greatly subsidized healthcare from hospitals all around the country. President Obama, in his attempt to win bipartisan support for the ACA, declared that it would NOT expand coverage to undocumented immigrants, who would be barred from purchasing coverage in health insurance exchanges. The fate of these residents of our country has yet to be determined or tested and will be an important question to follow in coming months.

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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