Patricia Cholewka, Ed.D., R.N., provided the keynote address during the 10th Annual Leadership Conference.
As the keynoter of the 10th annual Leadership Conference at The Garden City Hotel on April 3, Patricia Cholewka, Ed.D., R.N., chair of the New York City College of Technology’s Department of Nursing, waded into troubled waters by tackling the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an address entitled “Navigating Through the Affordable Care Act Tsunami” at the 10th Annual Leadership Conference.
Dr. Cholewka has extensive clinical experience in hospital medical-surgical nursing, managed care and healthcare quality improvement, and also serves as a hospital informatics consultant, In addition, she is an author, whose books include Health Capital and Sustainable Socioeconomic Development.
The title of Dr. Cholewka’s address picked up on the event’s overall theme, “Nurse Leaders Navigating the Waves of the Future.” Presented by the College of Nursing and Public Health in partnership with Sigma Theta Tau’s Alpha Omega Chapter, the daylong conference explored how leaders and visionaries can change patient care outcomes through innovation.
This was the event’s first time at The Garden City Hotel, a break from its usual Adelphi Garden City campus setting.
Focusing on the ACA’s impact on the U.S. healthcare system and on healthcare providers, Dr. Cholewka said in an opening understatement, “It’s very large. It’s very complicated.”
She explained that the ACA relies on a redistribution of resources to provide affordable healthcare for all Americans by building on the current system. However, Dr. Cholewka said, “The ACA has created a nation divided.”
The reasons are multipronged, she said. One key problem, she noted, is that its allocation system “neglects the importance of fair distribution.” Dr. Cholewka said that the sickest will not always get the needed resources because the ACA’s system tends to discriminate against the elderly and be insensitive toward non-Americans.
Another reason for the divide, she added, is that there is a reliance on the young to pay for the act.
She also said that what she called President Obama’s “regulatory tidal wave” will cause a labor loss of 2.5 million over the next decade—leaving 30 million Americans still uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office assessment. The implementation issues cause confusion, uncertainty and unpredictability, she said.
In the end, Dr. Cholewka told the audience of more than 200 that for many Americans, there are still no guarantees that the ACA will result in healthcare that’s affordable or accessible.
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