Nurses In Tampa Speak Out Against GOP Health Law Proposal

Mar 10, 2017
Originally published on March 10, 2017 2:49 pm

More than 1,000 nurses from around the country met this week in Tampa at the American Nurses Association annual conference, and part of it was spend discussing the potential impact of repealing Obamacare.

Much of the conversation focused on the newly released House plan, called the “American Health Care Act.”

Tim Casey, Senior Associate Director of Government Affairs with ANA, was a panelist at a town hall meeting Thursday night at the Tampa Convention Center. He said the nursing group has series concerns about:

  • Replacing pre-existing condition discrimination protections with continuous coverage buy-in penalties
  • Winding down Medicaid expansion and shifting the program to a per-capita block grant funding structure for states
  • Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund
  • Restricting access to women’s health services
  • Repealing income-based subsidies in exchange for age-based tax credits

"We sent a letter to Capitol Hill respectfully offering our opposition and offering also to be a constructive, productive voice going forward with feedback going forward to help strengthen what they're trying to do on Capitol Hill,” Casey said.

The ANA joins groups like the American Medical Association and AARP  in opposing the Obamacare replacement plan as it's currently written.

Panelists at the conference also encouraged nurses to lend their knowledge to any bills that affect health care. 

They’re  calling on nurses to write their local congressman, stay active on social media and reach out to journalists.

Jeffrey Doucette, the Vice President of Magnet Recognition Program and Pathway to Excellence at the American Nurses Credentialing Center, joined other panelists at the conference in encouraging nurses to speak out.

"As professional nurses we all get called upon constantly to give people our opinion, right?” Doucette asked the audience. “They call you all the time when they’re not feeling well, they need help with their doctor, they need help with whatever, and this is perfect opportunity for us to position ourselves as the people who know the most about how care is delivered in this country."

The ANA asked lawmakers to involve them and other medical groups in the process of re-writing the new health law, but so far, haven't received a response.