American Nurses Association President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, joined in a press conference with U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) June 22 outlining the harmful effects of eliminating the Essential Health Benefits currently available to millions of families across the country. These benefits and access to Medicaid are threatened by both a draft health care proposal unveiled by Senate GOP leadership June 22 and the American Health Care Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May.
Cipriano specifically spoke about the importance of ensuring people understand these benefits, which include access to affordable prescription drug coverage, addiction treatment and mental health services, and maternity and newborn care.
“In addition to eliminating the benefits that I just described, the Senate Republican draft health care bill’s changes to Medicaid would be disastrous for our nation’s most vulnerable,” she said. “Medicaid is the safety net for tens of millions of children, as well as the poor and disabled.
“We’re nurses, and we’re here because we are very worried about our patients. We won’t stop fighting for them. We can do better and Americans truly deserve a better plan.”
Lori Chovanak, MN, APRN, chief executive officer of the Ohio Nurses Association, and Jeanette Klemczak, MSN, RN, FAAN, of ANA-MI, also addressed the impact that having affordable, quality health care insurance has on patients, health care facilities, and the nation. Access the recording on YouTube to hear all that nurses and Senators had to say.
In addition to coming out for this press event, ANA members, area nurses and nursing students participated in an “Emergency White Coat Fly-in” with our coalition partners to #ProtectOurCare. Following a press event featuring nurses and physicians and organized by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), House Democratic Caucus Members, Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the group planned to meet with senators in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to persuade them to protect health care.
ANA also sent a letter to the Senate urging them to reject the AHCA and craft new legislation, which would improve health care affordability, access and delivery for all Americans.
Call your Senators using http://p2a.co/Mi6NnwT and join in the Tuesday morning Thunderclap (If you sign up, it posts a message to Facebook and/or Twitter at the same time as everyone else who joins, amplifying the message).
And stay up-to-date on ANA efforts on health system reform, including the latest on the just revealed Senate health care draft.