August 2, 2011

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First to the trough

I’m sure everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the ideological idiots we elected to office stopped playing chicken and decided to avoid a financial Armageddon. And just in case the healthcare community in general and nurses in particular don’t know: Every single area—service, education, research, public and private, personal and institutional—would have been devastated had the U.S. government defaulted on its debts. Not only Medicare and Medicaid payments, but research grants, subsidies, student loans, government institutions and employees, and interest rates on credit card, loans, mortgages would have gone sky high while the dollar would have been devalued to an extent never before even imagined. No one of any political persuasion can be anything but happy that the United States wasn’t pushed into default. And one can only hope we have learned a few lessons:

•    If you elect ideologues, don’t be surprised if they behave like ideologues.
•    Never again tie the debt ceiling to the federal budget. The former is money already spent, while the latter is money yet to be spent. They are related but separate issues. To put it on a “Mom and Pop” level: You may have to stop spending so much to get yourself out of debt, but you still have to pay your debts.

We the people must search for and elect moderates in both parties. And we the people, must demand balanced reporting from the media: no more right-wing or left-wing rants.  However, one has barely has time to breathe a sigh of relief before we perceive another danger: With financial meltdown avoided, we now must move quickly to protect what we already have. As I write this, it’s early morning on August 2, 2011. The President has not yet signed the debt ceiling/deficit reduction bill, and already people are lining up to protect their self-interests from the financial axe. In this case, it is the American Hospital Association and one of nursing’s most aggressive unions, the 170,000-member National Nurses United who agree that whatever the proposed bipartisan, bicameral committee decides to cut, it had better not be Medicare! Although wrapped in altruistic language about seniors’ access to care, the bottom-line is AHA wants no further cuts to providers’ payments and neither does the nurses’ union (lest these cuts lead to reductions in nurses’ wages, benefits, or even nurses’ jobs). Certainly, we all agree someone has to suffer, just not me. By all means, let us be first to the federal trough!

8 thoughts on “First to the trough”

  1. Margie says:

    Do you think the so-called ‘super-congress’ will accomplish anything?

  2. Louise Moondancer says:

    Without a doubt we need thinking moderates who care about “the people”. My son recently returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan tells me that if there is one thing he can no longer stand is extremism right or left. Enough with ideological idiots..lets start talking about solutions that will work.

  3. Leah Curtin says:

    Dear Joanne, I would love to connect with you, but I do not have your email…mine is at the bottom of the column! I am so glad you like the Quantum Nursing articles – I am excited about these concepts and their application to nursing! …and whoever it is who is concerned about idealogues blogging for AmNT…you are entitled to your opinion — but at least I cannot vote in Congress nor can my ‘extremism’ bankrupt the country or burden the public: elected persons are held to a different standard

  4. joanne.court says:

    I have been trying to email you in reference to attending the next seminar or lecture you present at. I have been following your Quantum Nursing articles in American Nurse Today I am excited to hear more, and meet you. Please contact me. Thank you Joanne

  5. Anonymous says:

    I find it ironic that Dr. Curtin will criticize ideologues Washington but won’t say a word about the ideologues who run and write blogs for the ANA.

  6. Marcia says:

    Leah has pointed out the battle that takes place every time Americans ask for major decisions to be made. As long as the decision does not affect me, it is fine. Negotiation involves compromise from each side. Medicare is a great health insurance plan for the elderly, but less money could be spent on the program if we had an open debate on how money is wasted. Nurses observe every day the waste of the money and their time performing unnecessary care.

  7. Jeanne says:

    I am not encouraged by the wimps decision to form a bipartisan committee–to what?? The last bi-partisan committee actually came up with some excellent ideas about how to handle the issues involved in the areas of mandatory spending that are the vast majority of the US Budget. However, in it’s infinite non-reasoning (I think there should be competency tests for people who run for public office) Congress chose to ignore it–now look where we are.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Whose to say we have avoided a financial Armageddon? Not by looking at the stock market.

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