Broad-Based Opposition to the American Health Care Act


Last week, Michele Woodward, a prominent Republican and former White House staffer in the Reagan Administration, posted a powerful critique of the Republican health care reform bill known as the American Health Care Act. Ms. Woodward noted of the legislation that:

You see, the health care bill passed in the House today has nothing to do with making sure all Americans have access to healthcare. The GOP leadership didn’t go in saying, “How can we raise the standard of living for all Americans by insuring their health?” No, they did not. Instead, they said, “How much money can we take out of this program?” Why? Because taking money from Obamacare allows the tax cuts the GOP really wants. Tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy and large corporations. Tax cuts that will continue to ensure that we don’t spend enough on critical infrastructure. They are single-minded in their pursuit of starving the government of funds and, thereby, fundamentally changing the American way of life for the worse.

The American Nurses Association takes similar issue with this piece of legislation. First and foremost, the American Health Care Act would deny millions of Americans access to critical health care services. Although the Republicans in the House decided to blindly vote on this bill without knowing its financial or human impact, it is not substantially different from the previous version of the bill which would have resulted in a loss of health care coverage for 24 million Americans and an $880 billion reduction in Medicaid funding. This version, in fact, would also put at risk the ability of the roughly 15 million Americans with pre-existing conditions to purchase and access critical health care services. The process by which the legislation moved through the House was also striking for its lack of transparency and the absence of meaningful debate, stakeholder input, or bipartisan collaboration. The House, in short, was reckless in its determination to pass this flawed legislation.

Further, this legislation marginalizes vulnerable populations by eroding their ability to access health care services for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans, who would receive a large tax cut. Such a shift goes against ANA’s core principles of health care reform and, as Ms. Woodward pointed out, would fundamentally change the American way of life for the worse. The American Nurses Association stands in opposition to this bill and urges the Senate to take a far more judicious and bipartisan approach to health care reform which ensures that all Americans – rich and poor, young and old, sick and healthy alike – have access to comprehensive health care services.

Congress just proved why we need you in Washington


Following yesterday’s AHCA vote, ANA board member Jesse Kennedy joins us as a guest blogger to explain why it’s more important than ever to take part in this year’s Hill Day. Please click here to learn more and share with others who might be interested.

Shameful. By a thin margin, the House of Representatives just voted today to pass the American Health Care Act.

Despite an avalanche of warnings, the House just moved to undo years of hard work by nurses like you to provide a better health care system for our patients.

No matter how leaders try to spin today’s vote, its effects are clear, and dangerous: Ending protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Eliminating essential health benefits. Kicking 24 million people off of their coverage.

The nursing community will not allow out-of-touch politicians to threaten the lives of our patients. ANA advocates are heading to Capitol Hill on Thursday, June 8 – one month from now – to meet face-to-face with members of Congress and their staffers – can you join us?

Register for ANA’s Hill Day in D.C. on June 8 so we can make sure to save you a spot.

Not sure if you can join? Click here and we’ll send you a reminder before the final deadline.

I don’t know who exactly was in the room when leaders in the House of Representatives decided to ram their devastating repeal bill forward, but I can tell you who wasn’t in the room: Health care professionals like you and me.

I know this because no one who has direct experience with health care in America would ever support the repeal bill that the House just passed. It would put our patients in danger and interfere with our ability to deliver quality care.

Fortunately, we have an opportunity to make our voices heard in the halls of Congress – and use our power and our passion to stop disastrous measures like this from ever becoming the law of the land.

I hope you’ll be able to join me on June 8 to raise your voice. Register now for ANA Hill Day 2017.

This fight does not end here. Thank you for continuing to speak out and advocate for all of our patients.

A Profoundly Disappointing Vote


The American Nurses Association is strongly opposed to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and is very disappointed with the passage of this legislation by the House of Representatives.

Representing the interests of more than 3.6 million registered nurses, the ANA has expressed serious concerns throughout the negotiation process about the negative impact the AHCA will have on the 24 million people who stand to lose insurance coverage if it becomes law, as well as the lack of transparency that has surrounded the bill.

Getty Images
Getty Images

“Over the past several weeks, nurses from across the country expressed their strong disapproval for this bill, which would have a great impact on the health of the nation,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Today, Congress not only ignored the voice of the nation’s most honest and ethical profession and largest group of health care professionals. It also ignored the almost 15 million people in the United States with pre-existing conditions who will now have no protection from insurer discrimination.”

As currently written, the AHCA would cut Medicaid funding by $880 billion over 10 years, dramatically increase premiums for senior citizens, restrict millions of women from access to health care, weaken the sustainability of Medicare, and repeal income-based subsidies that have made it possible for millions of families to buy health insurance.

In addition, states would have the option to waive essential health benefit protections that prevent insurance companies from charging Americans with pre-existing conditions significantly more for coverage. Even worse, insurers could decline coverage for substance abuse treatment, maternity care, and preventive services. Last minute attempts to stabilize the bill’s risk pools for the more than 15 million Americans with pre-existing conditions were wholly inadequate and will leave our nation’s sickest vulnerable.

As this legislation moves to the U.S. Senate, the ANA urges Senators to allow for thoughtful, public feedback in the face of reforms that would have such a far-reaching and personal impact across the nation.

“ANA asks the Senate to not deny peoples’ right to health care and quality of life by standing with the American people in opposing AHCA in its current form. ANA will continue to work with the Senate to help improve health care delivery, coverage, and affordability for all Americans,” Cipriano added.

To find out how your representative voted, click here.