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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published June 23, 2021

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Engage Nursing Students in Future Health Emergency Response

On June 17, Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Student Assisted Vaccination Effort (SAVE) Act (S.2114). This bipartisan bill makes permanent the ability of health professions students, including nursing students, to administer vaccines during a federally declared public health emergency. The SAVE Act also builds off an amendment made to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act earlier this year, which allowed these students to administer COVID-19 vaccines. AACN has long supported this effort and looks forward to working with our health professions colleagues to advance the SAVE Act this Congress.

Senate Hosts Hearing on the Pandemic’s Impact on Higher Education

On June 17, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hosted a hearing titled, “COVID-19 Response and Recovery: Supporting the Needs of Students in Higher Education & Lessons on Safely Returning to Campus.” Witnesses included university and college presidents, a provost, and a student. Throughout the hearing, the panel emphasized the need to address the rising rates of depression, anxiety, and isolation experienced among students, as well as to meet the financial and technological costs that were created during the pandemic. As campuses look to resume activity safely, vaccinations were highlighted, including how one local college helped to administer 350,000 vaccines in the region. Click here to watch the full HELP Committee hearing.

The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act Included in Senate Hearing

Today, June 23, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee is hosting a hearing to review pending legislation, including the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act of 2021 (S.1220/H.R.2568). This bipartisan bill recognizes and honors the nearly 120,000 members of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps who cared for our servicemen and women during World War II. The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act also provides those who served with honorable veteran status, a service medal, a burial plaque or grave marker, and other privileges. AACN joined with 51 nursing organizations in sending a letter to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee applauding the consideration of this legislation and urging for the passage of this bill. Click here to send a message to your Members of Congress today asking them to cosponsor and pass the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act this Congress.

MACPAC June Report Released: Includes Recommendations to Increase Access to Behavioral Health Services

Last week, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released its June 2021 report that provides several key recommendations to Congress, including increasing behavioral and mental health care to adults and children either through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The MACPAC report also addresses additional financial support for Medicaid enrollees to afford high-cost specialty drugs, how electronic health records can help improve patient care, and integrating care for those patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. To read the full report, click here.