Call to Action – 7/1/2017

Photo of U.S. Senate Floor

Federal Health Policy Updates

Find your congressman and senator in your district July 1-July 10.

Take Advantage of the Congressional In-District Work Period.  Both the House and the Senate will be in recess for an in-district work period July 1 and will return the week of July 10. This presents another great opportunity for you to schedule a meeting with your members of Congress and their staff or attend a Town Hall meeting. When in your meeting, please ask your member to cosponsor key pieces of nursing related legislation

Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, and on June 22, the Senate released its version of this bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the financial implications of the Senate Republican health-care bill. According to the CBO the Better Care Reconciliation Act would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026, with 15 million uninsured by 2018. It was anticipated that the vote would take place for the Senate version prior to the July 4 recess, however, after much discussion and debate, it was announced today that the health care bill needs more work and further discussion, and there will be no vote this week.

To review the issues and the comparison of the Senate and Congress bill go to:

  • ANA’s Principles for Health System Transformation 2016.  This contains the principles developed by ANA that should be included in any health care reform legislation.
  • Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (H.R. 2083 / S. 1132) which would require Medicare participating hospitals, through a committee comprised of at least 55% direct care nurses or their representatives, establish and publicly report unity-by-unit staffing plans.
  • Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (S. 445/H.R. 1825). This bipartisan legislation would amend the Medicare law to allow advanced practice nurses (APRNs) – a group that includes nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives – certify eligibility for Medicare beneficiaries and make changes to home health plans of treatment.
  • Bipartisan Title VIII reauthorization bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would reauthorize and improve nurse workforce programs under Title VIII, which supports nurses practicing in rural and medically underserved communities. It also targets advanced nursing education, diversity grants, National Nurse Service Corp, nurse faculty loan forgiveness, and geriatric education.
  • The Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act. H.R. 952 – The Put a Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act requiring skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to have at least one direct care RN on duty 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

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