League of Women Voters of Florida Endorsement
February 19, 2010
Expand Healthcare and Reduce Costs:
PASS HB 677 and SB6188
Dear Governor Crist and Members of the Florida Legislature,
The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF) urges you to pass Senate Bill 188 and House Bill 677, by Senator Mike Bennett and Representative Juan Carlos Zapataa. These bills, if passed, will enable Florida’s Advanced Nurse Practioners to step up and practice to the full extent of their education and clinical experience. It will enable Florida to join all the other states in the nation (except Alabama) in expanding access to healthcare while reducing costs of that access.
LWVF, in support of the Health Care Reform Positions of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS, 1993), believes that there should be access to a basic level of health care for all Florida residents and that health care costs should be controlled. Given the shortage of primary care physicians in Florida, especially in rural areas, Nurse Practitioners are already providing primary care as well as acute care in settings where doctors are not available in the numbers needed. They are currently a very important factor in health care access and affordability.
Giving the ARNPs the authority to prescribe needed medications that are considered controlled substances, as done in all states except Florida and Alabama, brings no additional costs. Rather, it will enhance their ability to provide comprehensive care and reduce delays as well as costs for patients and families in obtaining these medications. Nurse Practitioners, when properly utilized, will help to eliminate professional workforce shortages, an essential part of health care reform in Florida.
Therefore, the League of Women Voters of Florida joins with Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners in urging the Governor and the members of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives to lift the ban preventing ARNPs working in Florida from prescribing controlled substances.
Deirdre Macnab Ann Campbell
President Chair, LWVF Health Care Committee