FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANA Endorses Bipartisan Managed Care Bill
ANA Encourages Congress to Continue Working Together & Pass Bipartisan Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Nurses Association (ANA) today applauded the introduction of a bipartisan consensus bill that would reform managed care. The bill, H.R. 2723, "The Bipartisan Consensus Patient Protection Bill of 1999," was introduced on August 8, 1999, by Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA). Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is the lead co-sponsor.
"The American Nurses Association is pleased to endorse this bill and encouraged by the cooperation and compromises made to achieve real progress on managed care reform," said ANA President Beverly L. Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN. "It is heartening to see Congress working together to solve problems–this is how Congress should be working."
ANA has been a strong supporter of managed care reform legislation and believes every individual should have access to health care services along the full continuum of care and be an empowered partner in making health care decisions. Given the nursing profession's preeminent role in patient advocacy, ANA is particularly heartened by the steps proposed to protect registered nurses (RNs) and other health care professionals from retaliation when they advocate for their patients' health and safety.
"As the nation's foremost patient advocates, RNs need to be able to speak up about inappropriate or inadequate care that would harm their patients," said Malone. "Nurses at the bedside know exactly what happens when care is denied, comes too late or is so inadequate that it leads to inexcusable suffering, which is why we need to maintain strong whistleblower protection language in this bill. Nurses want to see strong, comprehensive patient protection legislation enacted this year."
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ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the nation's 2.6 million registered nurses through its 53 constituent associations. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.