Wanda Rose, Published September 15 2010
Pomeroy’s health care record earns support from ND nursesYes, the American Nurses Association and the North Dakota Nurses Association endorsed U.S. Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., for the U.S. House of Representatives (James Anderson column, Sept. 11). ANA-PAC is bipartisan and works directly with both national parties to recruit and support candidates based on criteria that demonstrate strong support for nursing and health care issues.
These issues include, but are not limited to, supporting access to health care, removing barriers to access to health care, the Children’s Health Care Insurance Program, recruitment and retention of RNs, and programs that promote health and disease prevention.
After reviewing all relevant information and comparing it to the criteria, the ANA-PAC endorsed Pomeroy, who has demonstrated strong support for nursing and health care issues. For example:
Recently, Pomeroy spoke against an “ill-advised” proposed Medicare change requiring “direct physician supervision” for outpatient therapy services, particularly for nursing intervention and practices that RNs are uniquely qualified to provide. This proposed rule change affects access to health care in rural North Dakota. It also ties the hands of nurses to practice what they are educated and qualified to perform. Pomeroy is fighting to help change this rule that could force rural hospitals in North Dakota to cut services.
Pomeroy supported expanding coverage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which allows states to provide pregnancy-related assistance under CHIP for pregnant women whose income is at least 185 percent of their state’s poverty level or at least 200 percent of the poverty level for children under 19 years of age.
Unlike Pomeroy’s opponent, state Rep. Rick Berg, R-Fargo, who did not support increasing North Dakota’s eligibility for CHIP to 200 percent (HB 1478 2009). Berg also voted against SB 2283 (2009) a bill relating to the medical assistance eligibility requirements for pregnant women whose income is equal to 165 percent of the federal poverty level.
ANA/NDNA supported a restructured health care system that would increase access to health care. Thus, supported the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act supported by Pomeroy. PPACA increases funding for the primary-care work force; grants for nurse-managed health centers and nurse education, practice and retention programs; expansion of nurse loan repayment and scholarship programs, including faculty; work-force diversity grants; grants for advanced practice registered nurses agreeing to work in the field of geriatrics or long-term care. All of which increases access to health care, especially in rural states such as North Dakota.
Berg has come out stating he will repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he refers to as “Obamacare.” Repealing PPACA will have a negative impact on access to health care in North Dakota. Berg voted against SB 2384 (2007), a bill to provide for an appropriation to the state Department of Health for the purpose of providing health care access grants to local public health units and community-based nonprofit organizations, and HB 1512 (2007), a bill to provide for frontier and rural medical access grant programs. All of which would have increased access to health care for North Dakota residents.
The code of ethics for nurses states it is nursing’s ethical responsibility “to bring about the social change necessary to enhance health care” and the need to remain vigilant in its advocacy for patient and family-centered care through leadership, political action and collective unity. This is why ANA/NDNA has endorsed Pomeroy.
Rose, RN, is president, NDNA.