AARP Eye Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2013
CONTACT: Mark Beach, (916) 556-3015, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT OF AARP CALIFORNIA STATE DIRECTOR KATIE HIRNING RE: SB 491
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Recent amendments to SB 491 (Hernandez) have forced AARP to OPPOSE the bill. AARP originally supported SB 491 because it would have helped to ensure Californians access to health care by allowing nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their education and training, and to independently provide primary health care services.
Unfortunately, recent amendments to SB 491 in the California Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee have changed its structure to such an extent that AARP must now oppose the bill.
As amended, SB 491 will actually hurt consumers by restricting access to primary care and increasing costs in our health care system. One amendment that states that nurse practitioners could not supplant physicians, and to do so would result in a crime. Another would strip out the “second pathway” to independence, prohibiting nurse practitioners from establishing a private practice. These changes are unacceptable.
When we communicated our original support for SB 491, we did so because allowing nurse practitioners to practice independently expands access for consumers and lowers the cost of health care. However, we believe that these amendments will actually undermine the intent of the law, and so AARP is left with no choice but to oppose the bill as amended.
AARP remains strongly in support of changing California law to allow nurse practitioners to serve patients independently, and we will continue to work with the legislature toward this goal. We are grateful to Senator Hernandez for his leadership and courage in bringing this issue into the public eye.
I would like to personally thank each and every AARP member who has called or emailed an elected representative on this issue. You are the lifeblood of AARP and the source of our influence at the Capitol. I am confident that your continued support will eventually make the difference in this fight.
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