Fourth of July – that nostalgic summer holiday where we come together with family, friends and neighbors to celebrate our country.  We have parades and picnics all dawned in the colors of patriots.  But do we really pause to think about why we are celebrating?  Are we thankful for the freedoms that have been granted to us?  Truthfully, when it comes down to it, how many exercise their rights appropriately?  When our elected officials are on the brink of making life changing decisions, so many simply don’t pay much attention or maybe feel like they can’t impact Washington.

One of those moments is upon us.  One of President Trump’s promises is to repeal and revise the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.  This definitely has the healthcare industry holding its breath as we brace for what changes may come.  However of greater concern to me is that the voice of the people be heard for what they want as our national healthcare bill.

This past week, it became evident that there was likely not enough Republican support in favor of the Better Care Reconciliation Act for it to pass before the July 4th recess.  As a result, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, made the decision to postpone the vote until after the holiday break.

What does this mean for us?  Well, now is the time to educate yourself on the differences between the two bills.  What are the proposed changes?  How will this impact you and your family over the next 4 years?  These are vital questions.  Here you can read a quick and easy summary of both bills.  And as you attend 4th of July bar-b-q’s, parades and firework displays why not take this celebration one step further?

As I write to try and help individuals better understand our healthcare system, healthcare coverage and costs are at the forefront.  Our cutting edge, US healthcare system is often taken for granted until we need it.  I have seen too often how surprising cost and coverage issues can be.

As a nurse I have been taught to be an advocate for  my patients.  I am viewing this post as doing just that.  I would like to encourage everyone to reflect on and exercise the rights we were granted as citizens on our Independence Day in  1776.  Stand up and be an active US citizen.  Contact your representatives and voice how you want them to vote.  Celebrate with an electronic firework display of emails so that your voice is heard.  Let freedom ring!