A note about yesterday's healthcare decision:
I know you're scared, you don't know what's happening, and for that I am deeply sorry. The fear of the unknown can be painful and cause strong emotions. Here is a short bulleted list of basics you need to know, and do, as a provider or a patient:
1. Understand that the Affordable Care Act isn't changing, yet.
Yesterday's vote opened your US government up to having more conversations about the future of your healthcare. Nothing was repealed, nothing was changed. No single strong voice can affect your future, regardless of the social media flurry he creates for his cause.
2. The state level is where we are suffering.
Those of you in states with elected officials who are liberal, and/or in support of the ACA have not felt the pains of your friends in the red states. You should know that at the state level, conservative officials are actively taking measures to affect their citizens.
For example, in Texas, regulations were passed that demanded Planned Parenthood hallway widths meet the specs of a surgical center. This was a silent little regulation passage that lead to all but 2 Planned Parenthoods in the state completely shutting down. Other states have taken notice and tried to enact similar measures. Some have blocked these regulations, but keep an eye out because this can happen at any state or local level.
Pay attention to your local politics. They might not be blasting at you on TV, but they are important.
3. Do your research now. Change is ok if you are prepared.
When the Affordable Care Act was first passed, I remember guiding hospitals through the exact same process: they were scared, they didn't know what was happening, and it was creating pain and strong negative emotions.
Just by breaking everything down, we could find clear paths to handling change.
Change is scary, and it is inevitable. Get on the front end of it.
Your friends and colleagues are, unfortunately, getting dumber and dumber.
They believe the internet at face value. They rely on social media, headlines, and tag lines.
Don't let a few voices dictate your opinion. I believe that you are smarter than that and willing to put in the work to becoming the type of informed person who can understand and protect yourself against the stupidity of the masses.
Read. Really read. Not headlines or news, source materials. Form a generalized understanding. Generate a good wealth of knowledge. Not all at once, but chip away at it daily.
Over time, it will get less scary. And if necessary, you will become the strong voice to your friends that helps them understand the difference between what your country's media wants you to know, and the truth.
To help you along your journey, here are a few of my favorite sources
Drudge Report is the most famous news aggregator out there, and can make reading everything on any one topic more user friendly.
Follow trustworthy journalists. I love Liz Plank, Drew Altman and Melissa Block.