A Message From ASNA President, Dr. Lindsey Harris

My fellow nurses,

In line with our goal to advocate for patients and greater access to care, ASNA supports the need for Medicaid expansion in our state. We are not endorsing any specific model, but instead, we support bipartisan dialog toward improving access to care for all Alabamians.

The following ASNA Policy Statement articulates our position. Also, note the link to a presentation from Cover Alabama that provides an interesting overview of the arguments for Medicaid expansion.

ASNA Policy Statement:

Through representative government at our recent annual House of Delegates, The Alabama State Nurses Association passed a resolution in favor of Medicaid Expansion. As the largest workforce in healthcare and the most trusted profession in Gallup Polls for the past 18 straight years, nurses are passionate about people having access to healthcare for reasons fundamental to their profession. First, providing early access to care increases positive patient outcomes and decreases the suffering related to untreated medical conditions. Second, nurses see first-hand that many patients who have not had access to primary care enter the healthcare system with advanced illnesses that are more difficult and more costly to treat. Consequently, many of these patients enter the system through emergency departments, the most expensive doorway into the healthcare system. Medicaid expansion is the fastest and most practical way to keep people healthy, provide early intervention/non-emergency treatment thereby saving taxpayer dollars and most importantly…saving lives.

By taking this position, ASNA is not endorsing any specific political or policy approach to expanding Medicaid. And, while engaging with other pro-Medicaid expansion groups or coalitions, ASNA remains independent and responsive to our members. That being said, we strongly stand for Medicaid expansion and appeal to our lawmakers and to the Governor to not allow those with extreme divergent views to delay ACTION on this urgent issue! Thousands of Alabamians need access to care and delays only cause more suffering through acute untreated illnesses. Therefore, ASNA supports Medicaid expansion. This will increase access to care, be cost-efficient and help Alabama become a healthier state.

One of the most reliable pro-Medicaid expansion coalitions in the state is Cover Alabama. As stated, by engaging with other groups ASNA is not verifying or concurring with every position held by those organizations. A good overview of the issue is presented by Cover Alabama. Please use the link below to access their presentation on Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Presentation

Lindsey Harris, DNP, RN, FNP-BC