Nurse education bill introduced in Senate, tax cuts for long-term care insurance released in House

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Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on Tuesday introduced legislation to increase government funding for nursing education.

The bill, S. 1569, is designed to strengthen Medicare support for nursing education by providing additional funding to train advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The bill could increase the number of APRNs in America by up to 25%, according to a Lewin Group study. In introducing the bill, Stabenow said the nurse training programs should include increased focus on, among other things, primary and preventive care, and chronic care management.

Accompanying the senator's legislation was a letter of endorsement, signed by AARP, the American Nurses Association and a number of other nursing organizations. "At a time when our country faces a shortage of healthcare professionals, funding for the clinical education of [APRNs]... is vitally important to meet the demand for expanded health care," they wrote.

In other legislative news, Louisiana Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) has introduced a bill that would provide a tax deduction for people purchasing long-term care insurance. Alexander hopes to pass the bill, HR 1891, which would give a 50% tax deduction on the cost of a long-term care insurance package.

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