Senate Returns from Thanksgiving Recess to Debate Health Care Reform
Shortly before adjourning for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Senate held a procedural vote to proceed with debate on the health care reform bill. As senators return to Washington this week, the Democratic leadership has alerted the Senate that roll call votes on health care reform legislation could occur at any time during the day and evening, with weekend sessions likely. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) still aims to pass a health care overhaul bill by Christmas, even if it means keeping the chamber in session for most of its December holiday break.

A major sticking point for the legislation in the Senate is a government run public option for health care coverage. In order to win more senators' votes, Majority Leader Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) have indicated some willingness to forego their proposal to allow states to opt out of a government-run public option for health coverage in favor of one that would be triggered in states that fail to meet a yet-determined affordability standard. Majority Leader Reid has to balance the numbers and opinions of senators who will not vote for a health reform bill without a government option in it against those who will not vote for one with a government option.

For more information about the NLN's position on health care reform, go to

Healthy People 2020 Seeks Comments
The Department of Health and Human Services invites you to comment on the DRAFT set of objectives for Healthy People 2020. For three decades, Healthy People has provided a set of national 10-year health promotion and disease prevention objectives aimed at improving the health of all Americans.

Visit to
  • View proposed draft objectives for Healthy People 2020
  • Comment on the proposed objectives
  • Comment on the topic areas
  • Suggest additional objectives
  • Make a general comment
Your comments will help ensure that issues important to nursing are included in Healthy People. Establishing objectives and providing benchmarks to track progress motivates, guides, and focuses action. Be part of the change. Comments will be accepted through December 31, 2009.

Visit today. Your feedback will help define the vision and strategy for building a healthier nation.

        Volume 6, Issue 6
          December 2009

Senate Returns from Thanksgiving Recess to Debate Health Care Reform

Healthy People 2020 Seeks Comments

HHS Awards Training Grants for New Health IT Systems

Government Affairs Action Center
HHS Awards Training Grants for New Health IT Systems
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week that it is awarding $80 million in grants to develop community college programs to train technical people to help doctors and nurses use new information technology systems. Of the $80 million awarded, $70 million will go directly to the community college programs and $10 million to develop educational materials to support them. HHS said in a news release that the programs will run six months and be open to individuals with some background in either health care or IT. The expansion of a highly skilled workforce developed through these programs will help health care providers and hospitals implement and maintain electronic health records and use them to strengthen delivery of care.
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