As a Nurse Practitioner I understand that everyone needs access to quality health care. There are two sides to the access coin: insurance coverage to help pay for care and an adequate supply of health care providers to deliver care.
Health insurance allows individuals to seek primary and specialty care in the community, rather than through hospital emergency rooms that by federal law cannot turn away anyone needing care, even when their illness is not an emergency. When people are sick and they have no other options they will go where they know they will be seen. Those of us with health insurance ultimately pay the price with higher insurance premiums to offset the costs of this uncompensated care. Expanding health insurance coverage eventually benefits everyone.
Even for those who have insurance, many areas of the state are severely underserved by health care providers. Individuals forego care until they are very ill because there are no health care providers in or near their communities. To meet growing demand for health care and to give health care workers and taxpayers a full return on their educational investment, our health care workforce should be utilized to its full capacity. Restrictive laws and regulations that prevent full practice by licensed health care professionals should be repealed.