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.
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.