On the Issues
National Republican Party Platform
Please click here to read the National Republican Party platform used during the 2020 RNC Convention. Highlights of the health care policy priorities from the Republican Party platform –which is the same platform utilized in 2016 – are as follows:
- Restoring Patient Control and Preserving Quality in Healthcare
- Repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with a goal of ensuring that all Americans have improved access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.
- Block grant Medicaid and other payments to assist all patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, to obtain coverage in a robust consumer market. Patients with pre-existing conditions maintaining continuous coverage should also be protected from discrimination
- Promote price transparency so consumers know the cost of treatments in advance
- Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare
- Respect the rights of conscience of healthcare professionals, including nurses
- Permanent ban on federal funding and subsidies for abortion and healthcare plans that include abortion coverage
- Better Care and Lower Costs: Tort Reform
- Support state and federal legislation to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, relieving conscientious providers of burdens that are not rightly theirs
- Advancing Research and Development in Healthcare
- Continue marrying significant public and private investment with the world’s best talent
- Research must consider the needs of formerly neglected demographic groups
- Expanded support for stem cell research
- Cut funding for entities that perform abortions in a manner inconsistent with federal law
- Putting Patients First: Reforming the FDA
- The increasing burden of governmental regulation and red tape is taking its toll on innovative companies and slowly diminishing the pipeline of new life-saving devices and drugs. The platform pledges that the FDA will no longer waste U.S. taxpayer and innovators’ resources though bureaucratic red tape and legal uncertainty
- Combatting Drug Use
- To combat the opioid epidemic, the platform cites support for Republican legislation allowing Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans to limit patients to a single pharmacy, as well as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) which addresses the epidemic from both the supply and demand sides of the problem. Note that CARA became law in July of 2016.
Health System Transformation
The President supports repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and supported replacing the ACA with the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), which the House of Representatives passed in May 2017. The legislation would have created a new federal grant program to provide $100 billion for states to use to stabilize their markets. The legislation failed to pass the Senate. The Administration also supports a lawsuit (California v. Texas) that challenges the constitutionality of the entire ACA since Congress repealed the law’s individual mandate. This case is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court.
On June 27, 2020, ANA issued a press release calling the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn the ACA “Unconscionable.” ANA has a history of issuing press releases and statements over the years as the ACA has been challenged by the administration, Congress and the Judicial system. Please visit our Health System Transformation Nursing Priority page to see where ANA stands on this important topic. Please visit our Health System Transformation Nursing Priority page to see where ANA stands on this important topic and ANA’s Health System Reform Resources page for additional information.
On March 6, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074) into law. This legislation provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for developing, manufacturing, and procuring vaccines and other medical supplies, grants for state, local, and tribal public health agencies and organizations, small business loans and additional aid.
The Trump administration declared a national emergency under the Stafford Act on March 13, 2020. The emergency declaration enables federal powers to be invoked and provide additional aid to state and local government through federal agencies.
On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) into law. This legislation included paid sick leave, emergency family and medical leave expansion, tax credits, free COVID-19 testing, expansion of food assistance and unemployment benefits along with increased Medicaid funding.
On the same day, ANA’s Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN and other nursing leaders met with President Trump at the White House to discuss coronavirus prevention strategies. At this meeting, the President recognized the challenges nurses and other frontline providers face on the frontlines of the pandemic regarding adequate PPE and other medical supplies and promised executive action.
Also on March 18, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) for the first time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the original invocation, the administration has issued several executive orders, expanding the scope of implementation of the DPA to varying degrees for the manufacturing of ventilators and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). ANA continues advocating for the passage of the Medical Supply Chain Emergency Act (H.R. 6390 / S. 3568). This would direct the administration to activate the DPA to its fullest extent and identify private sector capacity to produce no less than 500 million N95 respirators, 200,000 medical ventilators, 20 million face shields, 500 million pairs of gloves, and 20 million surgical gowns.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) into law. The legislation included $2 trillion in additional coronavirus aid, consisting of among other provisions: $1,200 stimulus checks to each American making $75,000 a year or less; four months of enhanced $600 per week unemployment benefits; $100 billion in advanced payments for hospitals and healthcare providers. The CARES Act also reauthorized Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs and authorized NPs and CNS’ to certify home health care for their patients, both of which are major priorities ANA has been working to pass into law. For further analysis please read ANA’s Capitol Beat blog. With the increased pressure on the nation’s health, on April 2, 2020 ANA encouraged Secretary Azar to open a special enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that a coverage option was available to all Americans during such an uncertain time.
On April 14, President Trump announced his decision to defund the World Health Organization (WHO) as his administration looks into the organization’s handling of the coronavirus, in particular the administration and his concerns it covered up the initial spread of the virus. This was a politically divisive issue criticized by ANA. Following this announcement, ANA also signed onto a letter on June 1 strongly urging Congress and the Trump administration to preserve the United States’ participation in WHO.
On May 6, President Trump invited ANA president Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN to the White House for a signing ceremony of the National Nurses Day proclamation. The President recognized the incredible sacrifices of nurses and other frontline providers during the coronavirus pandemic.
In regard to federal regulatory developments due to COVID-19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other federal agencies have issued numerous regulatory changes to reorient the nation’s health care system to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in particular implemented numerous policy changes to ensure that providers could adequately treat patients in the context of COVID-19. These changes expanded telehealth medicine, implemented steps regarding reimbursement, to broadening access to care to expanding scope of practice, CMS was responsible for a number of regulatory changes impacting patients, providers and health care facilities. ANA responded on May 8, 2020 to HHS Secretary Azar supporting permanent full practice authority for APRNs that were issues during the COVID-19 PHE. To read the full list of CMS policy and other regulatory changes, please click here.
The President and his administration have reversed course on several positions related to COVID-19 when the recommendations of the scientific community and federal agencies ran contrary to that of the administration. On September 23, 2020, ANA signed onto a letter led by the Alliance for Aging Research along with 77 other associations, stating that science, not politics, will lead us out of COVID-19. The letter explains that “By clearly explaining the processes in place to ensure scientific rigor, federal agencies and government leaders will build the confidence and public trust necessary for America to meet this challenge.”
Please visit the COVID-19 Nursing Priority page to see the work ANA has done in the COVID-19 space.
Please visit the Workforce Development Nursing Priority page to see all of the work and successes ANA has fought to achieve in the workforce development space. Related to COVID-19 waivers, on May 19, 2020 President Trump issued an Executive Order directing review of regulatory standards temporarily waived during the PHE. ANA responded to Administrator Verma addressing nursing workforce, scope of practice, and quality care.
In October 2017, the administration issued a report titled Reforming America’s Health care System Through Choice and Competition. It promotes advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are as capable as physicians to provide some of the same health-care services and that doing so would offer clear consumer benefits, especially in rural and underserved areas. The administration continues efforts to reform how Medicare pays providers while enhancing Medicare Advantage policies.
In October 2017, the Trump Administration declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Since then, the administration has worked with federal agencies including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which awarded millions of dollars in grants to state and local partners to support prevention, treatment, and recovery activities; the Health Resources and Services Administration which has awarded millions of dollars to community health centers, rural community organizations, and academic institutions to support delivery models at the community level; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has awarded millions of dollars to states, territories, tribes and partners to bolster prevention and data collection. Together these agencies, along with partner agencies, are helping to supply the necessary resources to communities to curb the epidemic.
The President also signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) into law in 2018. 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.
The administration, through prescribing guidelines, has also worked to decrease the number of opioid prescriptions that are written, which has decreased the number of opioids available in communities. They have also supported efforts to supply Naloxone to first responders and other health care providers. Regarding treatment and recovery services, the administration has supported work to increase innovative therapies and non-addictive pain management alternatives for varying diagnosis and geographic locations. The administration issued an American Patients First report that included proposals to reduce drug costs.
Please visit the Opioid Nursing Priority page to see all of the work ANA has done on the opioid epidemic.