ANA Urges Nurses to Oppose Trumpcare

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ANA Urges Nurses to Oppose Trumpcare

Nurses storm the Hill

By Working Nurse
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On June 8, the ANA held its annual RN Hill Day in Washington, D.C. Nurses turned out in force to express their concerns about Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a move the ANA strongly opposes.

Four Hundred Strong

Following the recent passage of House Republicans’ ACA repeal bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), turnout for Hill Day 2017 was strong. More than 400 nurses from 48 states traveled to Washington for the event, more than twice as many as in 2016. 

Those nurses set out on a whirlwind day of advocacy that included more than 300 meetings with members of Congress and congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle.  Unfortunately, that advocacy didn’t slow the progress of the Senate version of the AHCA. The initial Senate bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), was finally unveiled June 22 after weeks of secrecy.

ANA Opposition

The ANA immediately condemned the Senate proposal in no uncertain terms. “This bill is heartless,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, RN, Ph.D., NEA-BC, FAAN. “Congress can — and must — do better.”  As of this writing, Senate Republicans continue to tinker with the bill, but a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released June 26 estimates that the draft legislation would uninsure an additional 15 million people in 2018. CBO estimates that by 2026, 49 million non-elderly Americans would be uninsured, about 22 million more than under current law.

Those still insured would face substantially higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, since the bill would reduce the range of benefits insurers are required to cover.  Also, starting in 2019, anyone going more than 63 days without health insurance would have to wait at least six months before receiving new coverage. 

Even more dramatic is the proposed restructuring of Medicaid, which includes phasing out the expansion, imposing per capita spending caps and cutting federal funding by at least $772 million through 2026. Cipriano says this plan “would be disastrous for our nation’s most vulnerable.”

Call Now

Urging nurses to continue speaking out against what pundits have christened “Trumpcare,” the ANA has established a website (with the short link that will help connect you with senators’ offices to share your opinions. Both of California’s Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, oppose the Senate bill, but encourage constituents to keep calling. 

“[I]t’s more important than ever for the Senate to hear from nurses,” says ANA Associate Director of Advocacy and Engagement Monisha Smith. “If we don’t make the phones ring off the hook … your patients will pay the price.”

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