Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean Proposes Ban on Mandatory Overtime for Nurses
Presidential candidate former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) on Monday announced a proposal that would ban mandatory overtime for nurses to help address the U.S. nursing shortage, the AP/Boston Globe reports (AP/Boston Globe, 11/4). The proposal also would:
- Establish federal minimum nurse-to-patient ratios and regulations to address workplace safety for nurses;
- Provide federal scholarships and establish a loan forgiveness program for nurse practitioners, nurses and nursing teachers who agree to work in areas with severe nursing shortages;
- Provide federal incentives for hospitals and other nursing employers to subsidize nursing education and provide internships and residencies for new nurses;
- Request that hospitals allow more flexible schedules and part-time work for nurses;
- Improve efforts to recruit more male and minority nurses (DiStaso, Manchester Union Leader, 11/4).
- Increase Medicare reimbursements to help hospitals cover the cost of additional nurses; and
- Allow nurses to establish independent practices, which might improve the availability of basic health care in rural areas.
In related news, presidential candidates former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) discussed their health care proposals at a presidential forum in Durham, N.H., called Every Child Matters, the AP/Manchester Union Leader reports. Moseley Braun said that a single-payer health care system funded through income taxes is "the key to fixing a troubled system and taming its rising costs," the AP/Union Leader reports. Kucinich also supports a single-payer health care system, which he said would not increase U.S. health care costs overall but would reduce costs for employers. Meanwhile, Gephardt said that "he is the only presidential candidate with a health care plan that covers everyone," the AP/Union Leader reports (McCann, AP/Manchester Union Leader, 11/4). Gephardt's proposal would increase the federal subsidy to employers to cover the cost of health insurance premiums to 60% and require employers to provide coverage; expand Medicare to allow individuals ages 55 to 64 to pay to enroll in the program; provide federal subsidies to help the unemployed purchase health coverage through COBRA; expand the CHIP program to cover parents of eligible children; and provide $172 billion to state and local governments over the next three years to reimburse them for the cost of health insurance for their employees (California Healthline, 5/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.