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Health Care Reform in the 115th Congress

ACTION NEEDED: Urge Congress to Promote Patient-centered Health Care, Including Timely Access to High-quality Care Delivered by the Patient’s Provider of Choice

As Congress considers changes to the health care system, nurse practitioners (NPs) request that any reform or replacement legislation:

  • Protects patient choice by ensuring that health care delivered by NPs is covered by insurance and other health care options
  • Uses provider-neutral language
  • Ensures patients have access to health care with affordable coverage options, regardless of their preexisting conditions
  • Ensures Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance coverage continues to protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the chronically ill, women and children
  • Upholds the principles of Essential Health Benefits, including patient access to ambulatory care, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health services and addiction treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive services, wellness services and chronic disease management and pediatric services
  • Maintains the nation’s commitment to strengthening its health care workforce by continuing to invest in the preparation of health care providers such as NPs
  • Creates greater efficiency in the Medicare system by retiring barriers to practice and eliminating unnecessary duplication of health care providers’ efforts

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) urges Congress to ensure that any health care reform legislation is patient centric and includes NPs as a high-quality health care provider.

Nurse Practitioners Have a Critical Role in our Nation’s Health Care System

NPs have delivered high-quality health care to their patients for over half a century and are the health care provider of choice for millions of patients throughout the country. They are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are prepared at the master’s or doctoral level to provide primary, acute, chronic and specialty care to patients of all ages and walks of life.

NP daily practice consists of: assessment; diagnosis; initiating and managing treatment, including ordering, performing, supervising and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests; prescribing medication; coordination of care; counseling; and educating patients, their families and communities.

NPs practice in a wide variety of settings, including but not limited to: clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care sites, private physician or NP practices (both managed and owned by NPs), nursing homes, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health facilities, Indian Health facilities, schools, colleges, retail clinics, public health departments, nurse-managed clinics and homeless clinics.

NPs hold prescriptive authority in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. NPs are widely recognized for the high-quality care they provide to patients, as evidenced by the more than 870 million annual patient visits made to NPs.

For additional information, please contact the AANP Government Affairs Office at 703-740-2529 or

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