The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), representing more than 8,500 pediatric nurse practitioners and fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses committed to providing optimal health care for children, is deeply concerned by the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” proposed by Senate leaders. The CBO’s nonpartisan analysis predicts that the Senate bill would result in 22 million more Americans being uninsured in ten years and that it would cut Medicaid spending by $772 billion.
We believe the policies proposed in this legislation, including replacing current Medicaid with caps on federal spending for children and other vulnerable patient populations and terminating federal support for expanded state Medicaid coverage, are inconsistent with NAPNAP’s primary goal of maintaining and increasing historic gains in children’s health coverage. The Senate is now taking steps to vote on this legislation through a fast-track procedure without any committee hearings or markups and without sufficient time to understand how it will affect health care coverage for millions of children and their families.
NAPNAP is eager to work with Congress to improve our nation’s health care, but in its current form we believe the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” – like the House-passed “American Health Care Act” (H.R. 1628) – is a step in the wrong direction. We urge the Senate not to rush to judgment on such critical legislation, but to work with NAPNAP and other health care organizations to develop a better approach to making health care more accessible and affordable for children and families.