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OPINION: Affordable Care Act needs fixing, not elimination

January 13th | Jane Erickson, President, Alaska Nurses' Association Print this article   Email this article  

I have been a registered nurse for nearly 35 years, with over 30 of those being in Alaska. I know first-hand that the role our health care system plays is absolutely vital to the well-being of Alaskans.

I strive every day to provide high-quality care to my patients, regardless of their background or their ability to pay, and regardless of the hurdles I face in the workplace.

In my career, I've seen countless advances in medicine and worked through major health care reforms and policy changes - perhaps none so big as the Affordable Care Act.

Is the Affordable Care Act perfect? Of course not.

But eliminating the Affordable Care Act without a plan for replacement spells disaster: millions of Americans suddenly will be uninsured, the cost of health insurance will increase and hospitals will close. More importantly, losing coverage will create serious economic harm for working families in our communities. That's a cost we can't afford.

One of the most important duties of a nurse is to be a patient advocate. So, I call on Congress: don't throw our country's health care system into uncertainty by repealing the Affordable Care Act without a plan for replacement.

As a nurse, I ask instead that you work to improve health care delivery, put patients first and protect the health and economic security of American families. Mend it, don't end it.


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