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Michelle Obama speaks to nurses about healthcare reform

First Lady Michelle Obama talked to over 5000 nurses via a conference call Tuesday, calling them the “front lines of America’s health care system” and asking nurses nationwide to teach their patients about the benefits available to all Americans under the new Affordable Healthcare Act.

“Nurses are the ones who make things work,” Obama said. “And that’s the reason we’re talking today. You all play such a critical role in helping patients understand what’s going on with their health care, giving them the information they need not just to get better, but to stay healthy. And right now, there’s some very important new information that we really need to help pass along.”

The Affordable Healthcare Act, Obama noted, is now 6-months old, and many of the reforms have already gone into effect. Insurance companies can no longer refuse to cover children with pre-existing conditions. Young adults can obtain insurance through their parents. And patients dealing with a serious disease such as cancer no longer have to worry about maxing out their benefits.

The new law, Obama said, includes more focus on prevention and urged nurses to spread the word. “In order for this law to make a real difference in people’s lives, we have to make sure that people know about these reforms and that they take advantage of them,” Obama said. “Talk to your patients about how these reforms can help them.  Also, talk to your colleagues about the best ways to inform patients about what this new law means for them and for their families.”

Watch the whole conference call here:

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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