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Oklahomans Want Greater Access to Health Care

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Last week, more than 6,000 Oklahomans took part in a tele-town hall sponsored by AARP Oklahoma to learn more about House Bill 1013 and full practice authority for nurse practitioners.

That level of engagement shouldn’t be surprising. A poll conducted by SoonerPoll found that 86.7 percent of respondents support allowing nurse practitioners to put their full education and training to work in caring for Oklahomans.

The popular support for nurse practitioners is also reflected in the Oklahoma House of Representatives’ 72-20 vote in favor of HB 1013. Legislators from across the state and the political spectrum — Republicans and Democrats, urban, rural and suburban lawmakers — voted to give Oklahomans increased access to health care.

HB 1013 also has support from professionals throughout the health care industry, including hospital administrators and doctors.

Simply put, the more people learn about nurse practitioners and the barriers they face when caring for Oklahomans, the more they favor HB 1013. 

Earlier this year, South Dakota became the 22nd state to grant full practice authority to nurse practitioners.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gave full practice authority to NPs working in its facilities late last year.

It’s time to do away with antiquated regulations that require nurse practitioners to sign superficial “collaborative” agreements with a doctor. Those agreements can cost NPs thousands of dollars a month, offer no benefits to patients and unnecessarily restrict consumer choice and access to care.

Unfortunately, despite popular support, HB 1013 may not even receive a committee hearing in the state Senate. That is why it’s more important now than ever for Oklahomans who support modernizing our health care laws to contact their state senators.

Contact your state senators, tell them you support HB 1013 and ask that the bill receive a committee hearing. If you don’t know who represents you in the Oklahoma State Senate, click here.

HB 1013 is a simple and common-sense step toward improving health care access for all Oklahomans. Call your state senator today and make a difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors who lack access to affordable, quality health care.

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