Earlier today, ANA submitted a letter from President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN to Congressional leaders detailing our concerns over the House healthcare reform legislation introduced earlier this week. The letter details the bills shortcomings and expresses our opposition to the legislation in its current form.
ANA has serious concerns with a number of the bill’s key provisions that seek to do the following:
- Replace pre-existing condition discrimination protections with continuous coverage buy-in penalties
- Wind-down Medicaid expansion and fundamentally shift the program to a per-capita block grant funding structure for states
- Eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund
- Restrict access to women’s health services
- Repeal income-based subsidies in exchange for age-based tax credits
We’ll continue to closely monitor developments around healthcare reform, and urge you to continue to following Capitol Beat and our RN Action twitter account for the updates.
Republican House members just introduced their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Their bill has been shrouded in secrecy despite the fact that they’ve had seven years to come up with a plan. In fact, when some lawmakers actually went hunting for the bill last week, they were told that it wasn’t ready yet.
Well, now it’s ready – but committee leaders are completely bucking the rules by not holding hearings on the bill.
That’s not acceptable. Health care is too important to leave the public – and nurses – out of the process.
We don’t have a moment to lose. Tell your U.S. representative right now: Congress must hold full hearings on this bill, and they must hear expert testimony from the people who see our health care system every day: Nurses like you.
This bill has the potential to dramatically change your life – as well as the lives of your patients. If Congress truly cares about improving healthcare for all Americans, they need to give this bill fair and open hearings, and they need to hear from nurses before moving forward.
No one outside of Republican members of the House have reviewed this bill yet – and so many questions need to be answered:
- How will this impact coverage and access for those with pre-existing conditions, or total lifetime caps?
- How will this affect access to insurance through subsidies and Medicaid expansion?
- What new rules could impact how nurses provide care, and how hospitals and clinics are administered?
Congress must answer those questions and more – and absolutely cannot shut nurses out. Patients trust nurses to give them straight answers – and Congress needs to hear straight answers from nurses now more than ever.
Demand Congress hold fair and open hearings where they can hear from nurses like you before moving ahead on something so important. Send your message right away.
Yesterday, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) re-introduced S. 445, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act . This legislation would allow nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) to certify their patient’s eligibility for home health care services. ANA strongly supports S. 445.
Current Medicare policy prevents these advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) from providing appropriate care for their patients. Medicare has recognized the autonomous practice of these APRNs for nearly two decades, as they provide the majority of skilled care for home health patients. While these health care professionals are authorized to perform face-to-face assessments of a patient’s needs, a physician must certify their assessment. This legislation appropriately removes that burdensome requirement and ensures more timely access to home health services under Medicare.
While the date has not yet been set, ANA is working with House champions to introduce companion legislation. Last Congress, this legislation garnered 52 cosponsors in the Senate and 206 in the House. We will continue to advocate for passage of this important legislation and urge you to help advance this bill by contacting your Members of Congress.