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Alaska School Nurses Association

NASN's Update About the Latest Senate Attempts on Affordable Healthcare Act Appeal

Posted 2 months ago by Annette Johansen

Hello ASNA/NASN members,

The National Association of School Nurses, Director of Government Affairs has announced that the Senate is poised to try for a third time to repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA).  There is new bill Graham-Cassidy circulating around the Senate that is rumored to have 48 or 49 votes. 

Graham-Cassidy would scale back the federal role in the health care system and again rely on a system of block grants to the states.  As with the other iterations of repeal and replace that rely on block grants or per capita caps, this will be devastating to one percent of Medicaid that flows to schools, which will affect the children on Medicaid.

Schools are part of the safety net for children and Medicaid plays a significant role, particularly in the funding of needed medical services for children in special education under IDEA through their IEP, but also for those students without IEPs who are eligible for Medicaid. These changes will impact the ability of students with disabilities and students in poverty to receive many critical health services in schools that enable them to learn. This includes services provided by the school nurse for example vision and hearing screenings and management for students with diabetes and asthma.

Republican leadership has been trying to pass the "repeal and replace" legislation by using a Senate stratagem called budget reconciliation, which allows the Senate to pass a bill using a majority of 51 votes, but that maneuver will expire on September 30th

Please contact Senator Lisa Murkowski at (202) 224-6665 or email https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/contact/email to voice your opinion on the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Sincerely,
Annette Johansen, M.Ed., BSN, RN, NCSN
Board of Directors, National Assoiciation of School Nurses
Alaska