About forty years ago, Jeanette decided to become a nurse so she could help people live healthier lives. After starting her career as a LPN in an emergency room, she joined the St. Louis County Health Department, working within communities to assist patients where they lived.
On Wednesday, Jeanette joined other nurses and doctors in Duluth to talk about how Minnesotans are already benefiting the Affordable Care Act. March 23rd will be the second anniversary of the law's signing, and as Jeanette and her fellow medical professionals pointed out, it's already helping Minnesotans save money and stay healthier.
Jeanette believes that nurses are particularly well-suited to talk about the new law. "Because we're close up and personal, my fellow nurses and I know why America so desperately needed health care insurance reform." After hearing stories about her patients, it's hard not to agree with that assessment.
During their conversation, many of the doctors and nurses had stories about patients without coverage who waited until they were very sick to go to the emergency room. As one doctor pointed out, thanks to the new law 1.4 million Minnesotans have access to preventative care. The statistics are staggering: 298,000 Minnesota children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage because of their health and 32,000 young adult in the state can be covered by their parent's plans until age 26.
Statistics help tell the story, but the real impact of the Affordable Care Act is made clear by the individual stories. Like the people Jeanette talked about who no longer have to worry about being dropped because of hitting an arbitrary cap or because they were diagnosed with a new disease or illness.
As Jeanette said, "That's what being a nurse is all about: helping people achieve the highest level of health and well being possible, and that is why I became a nurse and that's why I am a nurse for Obama."
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