House Republicans stashed a confidential draft health reform bill behind closed doors late last week. The secret legislation was made available solely to House Majority Members in a ‘viewing room’ in the Capitol, where no copies were allowed out.
Health care reform is too important to do behind closed doors. ANA is calling on Congress to commit to a thoughtful, public process for any proposed changes to the current health care law. Anything short is unacceptable.
What’s Next: ANA picked up intel over the weekend that the legislation will, finally, be made public tonight and tomorrow morning. House Democrats as well as the general public will have just 36 hours to review the far-reaching legislation before both the House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce Committees begin considering the bill.
A reform effort of this magnitude traditionally demand public hearings, including testimony from patients, providers, and health systems, as well as from the typical cast of non-partisan entities like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) or the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
ANA is strongly urging Congress to carefully consider any legislative proposal that would fundamentally alter healthcare delivery for providers, as well as patients. Stay tuned for a grassroots alert from RnAction that will help you quickly tell your Members of Congress that their lack of transparency is unacceptable.
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.
Major policy changes require serious debate.
Congress is discussing the future of the Affordable Care Act – and the conversation in Washington right now could lead to a repeal without any plan for replacement, leaving care for your patients up in the air.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have the power to get Congress back on track – share your thoughts now on the Affordable Care Act and the impact you’ve seen it have on your patients. We’ll deliver your message right to their offices.
Nurses along with other health care providers, patients and advocates are speaking out against this plan – or lack thereof – and are calling for solutions that protect the most critical components of the law, including access to coverage.
Repealing without any replacement is simply irresponsible. The majority of Americans support the critical parts of the ACA – like protections for pre–existing conditions, retaining coverage for adult children, and increasing access to preventative services – all of which would be wiped away without a plan in place.
You know what your patients need. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan don’t. It’s as simple as that.
Will you raise your voice to help stop this insanity? Share your experience and perspective with Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell. Demand that they find a better way forward for all Americans.
Thank you for standing up for your patients!