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PRESIDENT'S PLAN DOES LITTLE TO CURE HEALTH CARE WOES SAY NURSES

 PRESIDENT'S PLAN DOES LITTLE TO CURE HEALTH CARE WOES SAY NURSES
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- President Bush's proposal to cap spending for health care programs for the poor and elderly as a way to pay for tax credits and vouchers so that more Americans can buy health insurance coverage is just another way to shift costs, not an approach that will assure that quality health care is a right of all, says the American Nurses Association (ANA).
 "The President continues to tinker with the system, rather than proposing reforms that address the fundamental problems of how, where, and to whom health care is provided," says Lucille Joel, EdD, RN, FAAN, president of ANA. "Until we start to focus on wellness and care instead of illness and cure we will continue to spend our health care dollars unwisely."
 "Nursing's Agenda For Health Care Reform," the nursing profession's plan, calls for reallocation of health care spending and fundamental restructuring and decentralization of the health care system. Nursing supports a "pay or play" approach and believes that unlike the current system, there must be incentives for providers to focus on primary health care and prevention and for consumers to seek routine preventive care to stay well.
 "We share the President's view that coordinated care can control costs," says Joel. "But we believe coordinated care must have quality controls as well as financial controls. In addition, consumers must be able to choose to see nurses and other qualified nonphysician providers in settings such as the school, home, and workplace."
 Joel emphasizes that it is not enough to provide universal access to health care without addressing the quality and appropriateness of care. "We must ensure that care is high quality, effective and what the consumer needs." Nursing's plan recommends the development of health care policies based on effectiveness and outcomes research.
 Joel also warns that cost is not the only barrier people face trying to obtain insurance or health care services. "Although the President's proposal will prohibit insurance companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions or denying coverage to those previously insured, it doesn't go far enough in reforming insurance so that everyone is treated in an equitable way. Plus, there are many people who are currently eligible for public programs who cannot navigate the system and the red tape.
 "We urge the Administration to be bold in its leadership on this critical issue," says Joel. "Families are paying too great a price because our policymakers are delaying implementing a plan that addresses run-away health care costs and universal access."
 The American Nurses Association is the only full-service professional organization representing the nation's two million registered nurses through its 53 constituent associations. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.
 -0- 2/6/92
 /CONTACT: Joan Meehan of the ANA, 202-789-1404, ext. 209/ CO: American Nurses Association ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:


JT-AH -- DC040 -- 7933 02/06/92 17:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 6, 1992
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