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Lowering the cost for healthcare

To the Editor:

A recent survey of North Carolina voters shows strong support for legislation aimed at increasing access to affordable health care across the state. Specifically, a majority of North Carolina voters support a proposal to protect Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists’ (CRNAs’) ability to continue administering anesthesia, as they are educated and trained to do.

Studies show that the North Carolina health care system would save $477 million annually, without a negative impact on patient care or outcomes, by allowing CRNAs and other Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

The North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA) commissioned the poll from April 4-6, as part of efforts to advance House Bill 88 (HB88), otherwise known as the “Modernize Nursing Practice Act.” The survey of 500 likely voters comes at a time when access to affordable health care is a top issue with North Carolina voters. The survey found that 82 percent of voters say it is “extremely important” for elected officials to focus on improving access to affordable health care.

Findings from the survey indicate broad initial support for the bill, with a majority of Republican, Democratic, and Unaffiliated voters in favor of the proposal. Support for HB88 grows to 73 percent of North Carolina voters when the benefits of the legislation — increased access to safe, affordable health care — is explained.

CRNAs are highly-trained professionals who provide anesthesia care to patients, including our military personnel in conflict zones around the world. CRNAs not only help save lives, but provide affordable access to care. With rising health care costs being a top issue for North Carolinians, our elected leaders should focus on ways to increase access to affordable care, especially in our rural communities. HB 88 isn’t just good for consumers, it’s good for patients and good for North Carolina.

Kimberly Gordon

NCANA President

Garner, NC