Let’s allow nurse practitioners to cure America’s doctor shortage

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During the first week of October, America celebrates National Primary Care Week, honoring the difficult work that family physicians, pediatricians, and other primary care doctors do every day to provide routine medical care. But, unfortunately for us, there aren't enough of them to care for our country's growing medical needs. Over 84 million Americans, one-quarter of the U.S population, live in counties with a severe primary care physician shortage, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). From Colusa County in California to East Delaware County in New York, patients are suffering from this debilitating doctor shortage.

There is a way to bridge this gap: allowing the qualified professionals known as nurse practitioners (NPs) to perform these important services. Much like doctors, NPs are trained to provide a variety of primary care procedures including diagnosing illnesses, treating conditions, and prescribing medications. Yet despite America's growing need for more primary care providers, states around the country have laws that prevent NPs from treating their patients. In 28 states, lawmakers subject NPs to outdated regulations that prohibit them from providing services they are fully certified to offer, like annual exams and pap smears. In other instances, states will mandate that nurses practice under the supervision of a physician, which limits their capacity to serve remote communities.

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Meanwhile, America's doctor shortage is worsening. While America's aging baby boomer generation is entering retirement and demanding more health care services, many doctors are retiring and hanging up their lab coats. Researchers at the Association of American Medical Colleges estimate that by 2030 there will be 49,000 fewer primary physicians than the country will need to serve our growing health care needs. Ultimately, patients seeking basic primary care will have to travel farther, wait longer, and pay more.

Supporters of NP restrictions claim that allowing nurses to perform primary care would endanger patient health. However, these claims are baseless—nurses can perform nearly all the services of a primary care doctor at the same high standards we expect from physicians. A 2013 review of 26 peer-reviewed studies in the journal Health Affairs found that patients treated by NPs enjoy the same health outcomes as those served by physicians.

The reality is that relaxing state restrictions on NPs would dramatically expand access to high-quality primary care. Since NPs need five fewer years of training to practice than physicians, nurses can more swiftly deploy to under-served areas. And surveys conducted by the American Academy of Nursing found that nurses are far more likely than doctors to operate in rural communities and in nontraditional settings—like urgent care and in-store clinics—allowing them to reach patients who lack reliable access to a physician.

Patients save money on healthcare by going to an NP, too. Because nursing degrees cost substantially less than a physician's medical degree, NPs charge significantly less than doctors, passing along their savings to patients. According to research by economist Morris Kleiner of the Brookings Institute, preventive care for children costs 16 percent less in states that actually allow nurses to freely practice the medicine they're trained in.

The federal government is all too aware of the negative implications caused by the restrictions on NPs.

The federal government is all too aware of the negative implications caused by the restrictions on NPs. In fact, it has recommended that states remove such laws. In 2013, President Obama's HHS estimated that states could reduce America's primary care shortage by two-thirds—simply by loosening laws that prevent NPs from treating their patients independently. And earlier this year, HHS Secretary Alex Azar urged lawmakers attending the American Legislative Exchange Council conference in New Orleans to end their "barrier[s] to new competition and lower-cost [NPs]."

Medical experts and policymakers across the political spectrum recognize that NPs can make a big difference in the lives of millions of Americans who are struggling to attain primary care. Allowing these qualified nurses to independently serve patients is a bipartisan solution that states should adopt—finally granting enough medical care access to those who need it most.


Charlie Katebi is a Young Voices contributor and a policy fellow at the Millennial Policy Center.

On "Glenn TV" this week, Megyn Kelly, host of the "Megyn Kelly Show," told Glenn Beck she believes the Democrats' talk of unity is "all nonsense" and forecasted the "death of journalism" under a Biden administration.

Megyn cited President Joe Biden's unwillingness to make concessions that would help unify Democrats and Republicans as an example of how much he actually cares about unity, and added that, while she's all for lowering the political temperature in America, she also believes there are some personal freedoms that are worth fighting for.

"What's happening substantively is worth fighting for and it's not going to go away just because [Biden] gave a nice speech," Megyn said.

"I will object. I will protect my family and what I think is right over Joe Biden's need for unity, which is false anyway. 'Unify behind my agenda' is not a real call for unity," she added.

Megyn said she believes the Left has reached too far and "awakened a sleeping giant" in reference to the silent majority who should speak up, speak out, and refuse to be silenced any longer.

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:

Because the content of this show is sure to set off the censors, the full episode is only be available on BlazeTV. Get $30 off a one-year subscription to BlazeTV with the code "GLENN." With BlazeTV, you get the unvarnished truth from the most pro-America network in the country, free from Big Tech and MSM censors.

As the Senate prepares for former President Trump's second impeachment trial, many are asking whether it's constitutional to try a president after leaving office. Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and host of the of "The Dershow," joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to talk about the legal battles Trump still faces.

Dershowitz said he believes the Senate doesn't have the authority to convict Trump, now that he's a private citizen again, and thus can't use impeachment to bar him from running for office again.

"The Constitution says the purpose of impeachment is to remove somebody. He [Trump] is out of office. There's nothing left to do.
It doesn't say you can impeach him to disqualify him for the future. It says, if you remove him you can then add disqualification, but you can't just impeach somebody to disqualify them," Dershowitz said.

"The Senate can't try ordinary citizens. So once you're an ordinary citizen, you get tried only in the courts, not in the Senate. So it's clearly unconstitutional," he added.

Dershowitz, who served on Trump's legal team during the first impeachment trial, also discussed whether he thinks Trump is legally (or even just ethically) responsible for the Capitol riot earlier this month, and whether those engaging in violence could be considered "domestic terrorists."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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A new, shocking CBS News poll shows that the majority of Americans believe they're facing a new enemy: other Americans.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents said they believe democracy in the U.S. is "threatened," and 54% said "other people in America" are the "biggest threat to the American way of life," rather than economic factors, viruses, natural disasters, or foreign actors.

Will it be possible to unite our nation with statistics like that? On "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn and Stu discussed the poll numbers and what they mean for our future.

Watch the video clip below:

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Countless leaders on the left are now arguing that removing President Donald Trump from office won't be enough — they're now calling for the president's "cult-like" supporters to be "deprogrammed." And it's not just fringe politicians.

During an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher" last week, former NBC anchor Katie Couric said, "The question is, how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump."

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi questioned whether the nation needs "a 9/11-type commission" to determine whether President Trump was colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin "the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol." Clinton also made sure to include her favorite "deplorables" in her unsubstantiated conspiracy theory:

"But we now know that not just [Trump] but his enablers, his accomplices, his cult members, have the same disregard for democracy," Clinton said to Pelosi.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and New York Times Magazine's Nikole Hannah-Jones agreed that there is a need for "millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans" to be deprogrammed and punished, during an MSNBC interview last week.

Now, a story from the Washington Post is also preaching that narrative and even added that we need more restrictions for conservatives on social media and in the broadcast industry.

"So now we have to be deprogrammed? We've heard this over and over and over and over again, for months," said Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday. He read through the shocking details of the Washington Post op-ed and discussed the extraordinary dangers of the latest anti-conservative movement in America.

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