Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Affordable Healthcare

Years ago, I left a violent marriage in Colorado and returned to Iowa to start a new life. My health insurance was good until the end of the August, and coverage at my new job wouldn’t take effect until October. That’s the way things are, I was told. You’ll be fine.

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The Financial Assessment


My Nicaraguan pediatrician friend astutely summarized her work: First you make the clinical assessment, then you make the financial assessment. In other words, a clinician may know the right treatment, but what good does that do the patient if the treatment is entirely out of reach financially?


In the clinic where I work,

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Ben Franklin and Health Insurance

Everyone looks confused when I begin my class lecture on private health insurance by showing a picture of Ben Franklin on the hundred-dollar bill and dedicating the lecture to him. Students seeking nurse practitioner degrees and doctor of nursing practice degrees alike have no idea why one of our Founding Fathers deserves this honor.
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Benefits and Burdens

When I retired from teaching in a suburban school district north of Detroit in June 2003, I left Michigan for my hometown of Pittsburgh with boxes of belongings, twenty-nine years of memories, and health insurance tied to my state pension. That insurance has served me well–except when it has not.

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