Veronica Byrd, 301-628-5057
David L. Allen, 301-628-5391
SILVER SPRING, MD
– The American Nurses Association
(ANA) strongly opposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and is deeply disappointed with the passage of this legislation by the United States House of Representatives.
ANA, which represents the interests of more than 3.6 million registered nurses, has expressed serious concerns throughout negotiations about the critical impact the AHCA would have on the 24 million people who stand to lose insurance coverage if the bill becomes law.
“Over the past several weeks, nurses from across the country expressed their strong disapproval of this bill which would negatively impact the health of the nation,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Today, Congress not only ignored the voice of the nation’s most honest and ethical profession
and largest group of health care professionals, it also ignored the almost 15 million people in the United States with pre-existing conditions who will now have no protection from insurer discrimination.”
As it is currently written, the AHCA would cut Medicaid funding by $880 billion over 10 years, dramatically increase premiums on seniors, restrict millions of women from access to health care, weaken the sustainability of Medicare, and repeal income-based subsidies that have made it possible for millions of families to buy health insurance. In addition, states would have the option to waive essential health benefit protections that prevent insurance companies from charging individuals with pre-existing conditions significantly more for coverage. Even worse, insurers could decline coverage for substance abuse treatment, maternity care, and preventive services. Late efforts to stabilize the bill’s risk pools for more than 15 million people with pre-existing conditions were wholly inadequate and will leave the nation’s sickest vulnerable.
As this legislation moves to the United States Senate, ANA urges the Senate to allow for opportunities for thoughtful, public feedback in the face of reforms that would have such a far-reaching and personal impact across the nation.
ANA asks the Senate to oppose AHCA in its current form, and stands ready to work with Senators to protect and improve health care access, quality and affordability for all.