Dear ANA Member and Colleague,
For more than 20 years, the American Nurses Association has advocated for health care reform in the United States to provide universal, affordable health insurance and create a system that emphasizes prevention and wellness rather than “sick care.” Today, we’ve earned a hard-fought victory with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act – for patients, nurses, and the nation. I am grateful for your support of ANA’s efforts to create a health care system that works better for everyone.
We worked tirelessly to influence the law to ensure a larger role for nurses to provide patient-centered care and to make our fullest contribution to health care. Our voices were heard on Capitol Hill at rallies and congressional hearings, and at the White House. ANA members’ activism contributed to the law’s enactment. I’m extremely proud of us for making a huge difference for our patients and our profession.
We’re already seeing benefits from the law making a big difference in people’s lives. Young adults are able to retain health insurance under their parents’ policy; seniors are receiving free prevention services; insurance companies can’t impose annual or lifetime coverage limits; and individuals with pre-existing conditions have new options for health insurance.
More crucial reforms are coming that will provide 30 million currently uninsured individuals health insurance through more affordable private insurance and Medicaid expansion.
We believe health care is a basic human right. The Affordable Care Act moves toward achieving that vision. But there’s more work to do to ensure that everyone has access to essential health care services.
As a longtime emergency department nurse, I’ve seen the devastating consequences when patients without insurance use the ED as a last resort, with severe and costly conditions that could have been prevented. The United States can do better. ANA will continue to advocate for a system that focuses on wellness, early intervention, chronic disease management, and care coordination – areas of nurses’ expertise.
The law represents progress for our profession. It funds nursing education, creates innovative, team-based care delivery models with nurses as key participants, and expands nurse-managed health services.
ANA will continue to advocate for you, your families and your patients. We’re working tenaciously to ensure we take full advantage of nurses’ capabilities to provide high-quality, comprehensive care. We’re protecting APRNs’ eligibility to serve as primary care providers, and patients’ rights to choose them.
Thank you for working to shape a higher quality, more effective health care system. Together, through the strength of nursing’s leadership, we will influence the changes we want to see for our patients and our profession.
With sincere appreciation,
Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN