AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
In “The 2012 Republican and Democratic Health Care Platforms” (Policy and Politics, October 2012), Joyce Pulcini does a disservice to nurses. All of the analysis relates to how nurses can benefit as an interest group. While touting many of the benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), she fails to mention the many new challenges that hospitals and physicians (and thus nurses) face.
Even if the rosy picture she painted were remotely accurate, nurses should still oppose the new legislation. No doubt our spokespeople would justify voting for the candidate who promised to legislate higher wages for nurses. But nurses are also citizens, and as such should be concerned with deterioration of individual responsibility, the utter disregard for constitutional principles (especially enumerated powers and federalism), and the long-term price (financial and otherwise) of continued government interference in the most private of matters. Transforming citizens into subjects is too high a price to pay for many of us.
The ACA is hardly a boon for the health care industry, despite the few benefits it offers certain groups. Moreover, many working nurses I've encountered—in Texas and Philadelphia—disapprove of this attempted takeover of American health care.
Joanna L. Whitesell, RN