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 In 28 states, lawmakers subject NPs to outdated regulations that prohibit them from providing services they are fully certified to offer, like annual exams and pap smears.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 the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere reacted to a recent Washington Post op-ed in which the author, Ron Charles, suggests that "as Confederate statues finally tumble across America, [and] television networks are marching through their catalogues looking to take down racially offensive content," perhaps the next items that should be up on the cancel-culture chopping block are "problematic books."

"Monuments celebrating racist traitors, which were erected to fabricate history and terrify black Americans, are not works of art that deserve our respect or preservation. Similarly, scenes of modern-day white comedians reenacting minstrel-show caricatures are not ironical interrogations of racism that we have to stomach any longer. But complex works of literature are large, they contain multitudes," Charles wrote.

He goes on to argue that "calibrating our Racism Detector to spot only a few obvious sins" is but an insidious source of self-satisfaction when compared to the process of critical debate on the values and intentions of history's literary legends.

"If cancel culture has a weakness, it's that it risks short-circuiting the process of critical engagement that leads to our enlightenment," Charles wrote. "Scanning videos for blackface or searching text files for the n-word is so much easier than contending with, say, the systemic tokenism of TV rom-coms or the unbearable whiteness of Jane Austen."

Could cancel culture really spiral all the way down to book burning? In the clip below, Glenn, Pat, and Stu agreed that this radical progressive movement is really about erasing America's history and overturning the foundation of our country. The fundamental transformation of America is happening now.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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It's been a tough year, America. Our news media is inundating us with images of destruction, violence, and division in attempts not only to desecrate our nation, but to make us turn our backs on it. That's why now, more than ever, we need to take an up-close look at America's history to remember what it is we're fighting for and how to fight for it with practical action.

Join Glenn Beck, broadcasting from Standing Rock Ranch, as he takes us to Plymouth, Gettysburg, and Federal Hall on an important journey through America's remarkable history to inspire a brighter future. Glenn asks the hard questions of every American. Is this system worth saving? Is there a better way? Where do we go from here, and how do we answer those questions?

Featuring performances from the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, David Osmond, a very special children's choir, and guests Bob Woodson, Tim Ballard, David Barton, Burgess Owens, Kathy Barnette, Anna Paulina Luna, and Tim Barton.

Watch the full special presentation below:


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"Restoring Hope" has been a labor of love for Glenn and his team and tonight is the night! "Restoring the Covenant" was supposed to take place in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. but thanks to COVID-19, that plan had to be scrapped. "Restoring Hope" is what was left after having to scrap nearly two years of planning. The Herald Journal in Idaho detailed what the event was supposed to be and what it turned into. Check out the article below to get all the details.

Glenn Beck discusses patriotic, religious program filmed at Idaho ranch

On July 2, commentator Glenn Beck and his partners will issue a challenge from Beck's corner of Franklin County to anyone who will listen: "Learn the truth, commit to the truth, then act on the truth."

Over the last few weeks, he has brought about 1,000 people to his ranch to record different portions of the program that accompanies the challenge. On June 19, about 400 members of the Millennial Choir and Orchestra met at West Side High School before boarding WSSD buses to travel to a still spring-green section of Beck's ranch to record their portion of the program.

Read the whole article HERE

The current riots and movement to erase America's history are exactly in line with the New York Times' "1619 Project," which argues that America was rotten at its beginning, and that slavery and systemic racism are the roots of everything from capitalism to our lack of universal health care.

On this week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck exposed the true intent of the "1619 Project" and its creator, who justifies remaking America into a Marxist society. This clever lie is disguised as history, and it has already infiltrated our schools.

"The '1619 Project' desperately wants to pass itself off as legitimate history, but it totally kneecaps itself by ignoring so much of the American story. There's no mention of any black Americans who succeeded in spite of slavery, due to the free market capitalist system. In the 1619 Project's effort to take down America, black success stories are not allowed. Because they don't fit with the narrative. The role of white Americans in abolishing slavery doesn't fit the narrative either," Glenn said.

"The agenda is not ultimately about history," he added. "It's just yet another vehicle in the fleet now driven by elites in America toward socialism."

Watch a preview of the full episode below:


Watch the full episode only on BlazeTV. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.