One thing is certain: Michael Zdychnec, health care management program chair, knows health care and is an advocate for public awareness and support as we move forward into uncharted territory. To help with this venture, Zdychnec was fortunate to bring Representative Nick Zerwas into his U.S. Health Systems class to speak to his students.
The opportunity to hear Zerwas speak at at Minnesota School of Business-Elk River (MSB) was also opened up to the rest of the campus. Two other classes, Nicole Rasmussen’s Foundations of Writing and Jim Cook’s
Professional Communications, as well as staff members, were able to listen and participate in his presentation.
Zerwas spoke about the state of health care reform and the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as “Obamacare”). He explained the current state of health care, both locally and nationally, as well as his thoughts on the future of both.
It was extremely eye-opening and a little frightening, especially to students in Rasmussen’s class, who weren’t as aware of the programs, the costs associated with them, and how they are going to affect each one of us.
Student, Andy Tompkins, said, “I have never paid much attention to how our state [health care program] works because I have always had my own health care through work.” He continued on to say, “I agree with him [that doing] nothing is worse than what we had before but long term, this is going to cost much more to fix and sustain this program.”
Other students expressed similar concerns and frustrations with the program based on things they had heard prior to hearing Zerwas speak. After hearing his take on this situation, the students were fired up.
“Hearing him talk about how ‘messed up’ the process has been,” explained student, Kristen Miller, has encouraged her to “…pay more attention to all of this in the future.”
Zdychnec stated, “Doing nothing is not an option,” and stressed that it’s up to each individual to stand up for their rights and options. He and Zerwas both expressed the importance of “staying informed” and looking into “rumors” instead of just accepting what is heard.
Wendy Brown, a student in Rasmussen’s class, shared her thoughts based on her own unique life experiences in relation to the introduction to the new programs.
“In today’s political environment, the ACA is sure to evoke some type of emotional response. Whether you have followed this act from inception or are being made to purchase a health care policy, knowledge is the key to understanding the pros and cons,” Brown said. “For the first time, many women are able to get mammograms through the ACA. On the other hand, many workers have lost their full-time status with their employers due to the cost of the ACA. Just like anything else in life, it’s important to take the time to find out what the ACA is and how it will work for you.”
The deadline to sign up for MNSURE is March 31st. If you or someone you know needs to sign up or has questions, go to http://mnsure.org or attend the next enrollment event at MSB-Elk River on Monday, March 24th from 1-6 p.m.