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Deans’ Nursing Policy Coalition Pens ACA Letter to Congressional Leadership

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On behalf of the Deans’ Nursing Policy Coalition, Dean Bobbie Berkowitz along with the deans of 10 nursing schools penned a letter to congressional leaders in February expressing concern that repealing the Affordable Care Act “without simultaneously enacting legislation with similar comprehensive coverage could jeopardize the nation’s health care system, affecting patients and the providers who care for them.”

 

Read the full text from the letter below: 

 

February 6, 2017 

 

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Schumer and Democratic Leader Pelosi: 

 

We stand ready to work with you and your staff to improve and strengthen the nation’s health care system. 

As deans of the top-ranking private schools of nursing in the U.S., who have been working together on policy issues of mutual interest, we congratulate you on your leadership positions in the 115th Congress. 

We write today in preparation for the congressional debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and potential changes to federally sponsored health care coverage. We are concerned that to repeal the ACA without simultaneously enacting legislation with similar comprehensive coverage could jeopardize the nation’s health care system, affecting patients and the providers who care for them. 

Policymakers of both parties share the common goal of ensuring Americans’ access to affordable health care options. We are concerned that a “repeal without replace” strategy could destabilize the health care delivery system and drive up costs. 

Nurses care for our most vulnerable populations and our top-ranking schools of nursing actively engage with our healthcare system partners to educate the next generation of front-line registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, and researchers. Nurses are the largest sector of the healthcare workforce and play a critical role in assuring access to affordable, quality care. Our graduates work throughout our systems of care including hospitals, schools, homes, community health clinics, public health departments, and long-term-care facilities. Nursing is at the forefront of designing and testing new models of care to provide the most effective care at the lowest cost. 

We believe it is important that nursing be part of the national conversation on the repeal and replacement of the ACA and any changes to Medicaid, Medicare or the insurance coverage of our citizens as nurses will provide care to those millions of patients who will be the recipients of care resulting from any changes to the coverage of their healthcare. As the most trusted profession, nurses can serve as expert communicators and quickly gauge the impact of health policy change on the lives of patients and their families. Nurses can provide a view “from the trenches” on the clinical and economic impact of health care policy proposals and we stand ready to share that experience with you. In addition, the advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists) throughout the U.S. have been shown to be an important resource in increasing access to care and provide quality care at reduced costs. Advanced practice providers can provide candid assessments of the progress and impact of initiatives to repeal and replace the ACA. Our nurse researchers drive the knowledge needed to provide the best care and prevent disease. We encourage you to reach out to the nursing leaders listed below, individually and collectively as barometers to provide candid, evidence-based evaluation and reactions in real time. 

We stand ready to work with you and your staff to improve and strengthen the nation’s health care system. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Mary E. Kerr, PhD, RN, FAAN 
Co-Chair, Deans’ Nursing Policy Coalition; Dean and May L. Wykle Endowed Professorship in Nursing, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University 

Linda A. McCauley, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAAOHN 
Co-Chair, Deans’ Nursing Policy Coalition; Dean and Professor, Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing 

Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, FAAN 
Dean and Mary O'Neil Mundinger Professor; Senior Vice President, Columbia University Medical Center 

Marion Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN 
Dean of the School of Nursing; Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs, Duke University; and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Nursing, Duke University Health System 

Patricia Davidson, RN, BA, MEd, PhD, FAAN 
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing 

Ann Kurth PhD, RN, MPH, FAAN 
Dean and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor Yale University School of Nursing February 6, 2017 Page | 3 

Linda Norman, DSN, FN, FAAN 
Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing; Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing 

Kathy Rideout, EdD, PNP-BC, FNAP 
Dean and Professor of Clinical Nursing, University of Rochester School of Nursing 

Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN 
Dean and Erline Perkins McGriff Professor, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing 

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing