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AARP AARP States Advocacy

California Can’t Afford to Miss This Opportunity

URGENT UPDATE, 8/12/13: AARP California now OPPOSES SB 491 as amended - click to learn more.

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The fate of  Senate Bill 491, which would allow nurse practitioners to provide the basic health services Californians need, is still hanging in the balance. After falling  just two votes short of passage during Tuesday's Assembly hearing, Senate Bill 491 will be reconsidered next week.

Your voice is critical to ensure passage of this important bill. Please send an email or call 1-888-458-6355 TODAY to tell your Assemblymember to vote YES on SB 491!

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced degrees and clinical training. Yet California’s outdated laws require nurse practitioners to have supervision by a physician, adding unnecessary restrictions and bureaucratic oversight. Research by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences confirms that nurse practitioners provide safe, high quality, cost-effective care for their patients.

Our state is already experiencing a  shortage of primary care providers and demand will increase next year when millions more Californians have access to health care coverage. Currently, there are only an estimated  30,000 primary care physicians serving the 37 million residents of California. SB 491 would give 17,000 nurse practitioners the freedom to provide quality health care in the state.

Consumers will make decisions about their health care coverage for 2014 starting in October – but the deadline for the California legislature to make the right decision is less than one week away. If SB 491 doesn’t move forward on Tuesday, August 13 th, our state’s shortage of primary care providers will become even more critical next year, causing longer wait times for health care in our communities.  This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. 

Join us in an urgent push to pass this important bill. Take action now:


You and your family deserve access to your choice of trained health care professionals in your community. Be the voice of your family and your community by supporting SB 491 today!

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