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 In 28 states, lawmakers subject NPs to outdated regulations that prohibit them from providing services they are fully certified to offer, like annual exams and pap smears.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.

During his campaign, President Joe Biden survived scandal after scandal involving his son Hunter — the Ukraine/Burisma scandal, the laptop scandal, the one involving a stripper from Arkansas and a long-lost child. And yet, after it all appeared to have been swept under the rug, Hunter has now released a memoir — "Beautiful Things."

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere discussed Hunter's "horrible" response when asked on "CBS This Morning" if the laptop seized by the FBI in 2019 belonged to him and reviewed a few segments from his new book, which they agreed raises the question: Is Hunter trying to sabotage his father's career?

Watch the video below for more:


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Countless corporations — from Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, and Porsche to UPS and LinkedIn — are calling out the Georgia voting laws, calling them "restrictive," "racist," and "discriminative." Meanwhile, words like "stakeholder" and "equitable" are starting to show up in their arguments.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck gave the "decoder ring" for what's really going on here, because our society is being completely redesigned in front of our eyes.

There's a reason why all these big businesses are speaking out now, and it has very little to do with genuine ideology, Glenn explained. It's all about ESG scores and forcing "compliance" through the monetization of social justice.

Glenn went on to detail exactly what ESG scores are, how they're calculated, and why these social credit scores explain the latest moves from "woke" companies.

Watch the video below to hear Glenn break it down:

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Dallas Jenkins is a storyteller — and he's telling the most important story of all time in a way that many believed was impossible.

Jenkins is the creator of "The Chosen," a free, crowdfunded series about the life of Jesus that rivals Hollywood productions. And Season 2 could not have arrived at a better time — on Easter weekend 2021. Church attendance has dropped, people are hungry for something bigger than all of us, and many are choosing social justice activism, political parties, or even the climate change movement as "religions" over God.

This Easter weekend, Jenkins joined Glenn on the "Glenn Beck Podcast" to discuss the aspects of Jesus that often get overlooked and break through the misconceptions about who Jesus really is to paint a clear picture of why America needs Emmanuel, "God with us," now more than ever.

Watch the full podcast below:

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Award-winning investigative journalist Lara Logan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program this week to argue the Biden administration's border crisis is "enabling" drug cartels, allowing them to exploit migrants, use border wall construction roads, and cross the border much more easily.

Lara, who has witnessed and experienced firsthand some of the worst violence around the world as a war correspondent for CBS News, told Glenn it's "not an overstatement" to call the cartels in Mexico "the most violent and powerful criminal organizations on the face of the earth." And while they're "at war with us, we've been asleep at the wheel."

But Lara also offers solutions that the U.S. can enact to stop these horrific atrocities.

"There's more than 30,000 Mexican civilians who are massacred every year in Mexico by the cartels. And that's just the bodies that the Mexican government owns up to or knows about, right?" Lara said. "There's Mexicans buried in unmarked mass graves all across the country. I mean, everyone knows that the violence of the cartels is not like anything anyone has ever seen before. It even pales in comparison to, at times, to what terrorist groups like ISIS have done."

Lara went on to explain some of the unspeakable acts of violence and murder that occur at the hands of the Mexican cartels — 98% of which go uninvestigated.

"That's not unprosecuted, Glenn. That's uninvestigated," Lara emphasized. "[Cartels] operate with impunity. So the law enforcement guy, the policemen, the marine, the National Guardsmen, who are trying to do the right thing, who are not in the pocket of the cartels — what chance do those guys have? They've got no chance. You know where they end up? In one of those unmarked graves."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

(Content Warning: Disturbing content)



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