On the Issues
U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp.
Senator Booker is a cosponsor of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act of 2019 (S. 997). This legislation would recognize nurses who served as members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II as veterans and would receive honorable discharges, medal privileges, and burial benefits for cemeteries administered under the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He also cosponsored the Home Health Planning Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 445) in the previous session of Congress which would have allowed nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) to order home health care services had the legislation passed.
The Senator has signed onto two nursing ‘Dear Colleague’ in this Congress (Agency on Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and a Title VIII letter). A Member of Congress signs a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter on an issue that they are willing to support, usually if a bill on that issue has not yet been introduced. The Agency on Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) letter requests $460 million in appropriations funding for the AHRQ while the Title VIII letter requests $266 million in appropriations funding for future nursing education.
On the opioid epidemic, Senator Booker voted for the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) that became law in the previous session of Congress. One provision of this legislation gives nurse practitioners and physician assistants permanent authorization to prescribe medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid substance use disorder if they complete an education course to obtain a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Agency. It also gives clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives five-years authority to prescribe MAT if they obtain the same waiver.
During a Democratic primary debate in June 2019, when asked if pharmaceutical companies that produce opioids should be held accountable for the opioid crisis, Booker answered that they should be held criminally liable.
Health Care Reform
Senator Booker is a cosponsor of the Medicare for All Act of 2019 (S. 1129). This bill would transition the United States to a single-payer health care system where a government-run plan provides insurance coverage to all Americans.