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From the Hill to the NICU

Monthly Advocacy Updates

NANN's Health Policy and Advocacy Committee (HPAC) is committed to advocating for optimized care, and health outcomes for neonates and their families. In an effort to raise awareness of key regulations and issue that affect NANN, NANNP, and the populations we serve, the HPAC Committee will be sending out monthly updates to help keep you informed.

March 2017 - Patient Protection Affordable Care Act

Welch-Carre WElizabeth Welch-Carre, MS NNP-BC

The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare, will be repealed by the Republican Party who controls the legislative and now executive branch of the federal government. The repeal will be done through budget reconciliation, which will eliminate the employer and participant penalties associated with the act, effectively making the law non-existent. This process is also how the ACA was originally passed.

Repeal and Transition
The GOP changed their initial tagline of “repeal and replace” to “repeal and transition,” to accurately communicate the timeline needed to alter the existing law. As of this writing, no ACA replacement plan has been introduced into Congress, but there have been several possible plans discussed which include the following:

  • Medicaid may be changed to block grants for states which would provide enrollees with a set amount of money for coverage
  • Provide subsidies for premium coverage, instead provide tax breaks
  • Likely will repeal the individual mandate for coverage
  • States will be allowed to keep ACA if desired
  • Cover pre-existing conditions but may be in high-risk pool
  • Continue with coverage for offspring up to age of 26

What does this mean for us?

NANN is committed to working with other nursing organizations to monitor the ongoing communications on the hill. As it pertains to neonatal nurses and the specific population we provide care for, the following topics are on the HPAC’s radar:

  • Pregnancy and newborn care
  • Breastfeeding benefits
    • Covers the cost of breast pumps
    • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Mental Health Services
    • Treatment for behavioral health diagnosis
    • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Pre-existing condition coverage
    • Continuous health insurance coverage provided for pregnant women
    • Continuous coverage for other pre-existing conditions that may impact pregnancy
  • Preventative care woman
    • STD testing and treatment
    • Tobacco screening and treatment
    • Breast cancer screening
  • Preventative care kids
    • Immunizations
    • Developmental screening 0 to three years
    • Well-baby appointments

As additional information becomes available on this ongoing issue, NANN will keep our members abreast of pertinent and timely information.

If you have any questions regarding the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act or the Health Policy and Advocacy Committee, please contact Joe Lindahl, NANN Senior Operations Manager, at jlindahl@nann.org