AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding House and Senate passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which includes provisions to increase discretionary spending limits for FY 2018 and FY 2019, delay cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, and extend funding for the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME):
“The AAMC is very appreciative that lawmakers have come together in a bipartisan fashion to approve a budget deal that will allow for robust investment in agencies and programs vital to our nation’s health security and will help safety net hospitals continue to serve vulnerable patients.
The additional non-defense discretionary funding for FY 2018 and FY 2019 will allow Congress to invest in critical national priorities, from public health efforts to address the opioid epidemic to programs that help strengthen the supply, diversity, and distribution of the health care workforce. In particular, we are grateful that the deal acknowledges the need for reliable funding growth for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provides hope to millions of patients suffering from life-threatening and chronic diseases. We look forward to working with appropriators to secure a final appropriation for NIH of at least $36.1 billion for medical research in the forthcoming FY 2018 omnibus, in addition to funding for targeted research initiatives.
We also are pleased that the legislation passed today helps patients with provisions to preserve America’s safety net, including a delay in significant cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share payments to hospitals that care for some of our most vulnerable patients, and an additional four years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Further, the proposed funding increase for THCGME and extended funding for the National Health Service Corps will aid in providing care and future providers to underserved communities.
The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals thank Congress for taking these steps and look forward to working with lawmakers to support the full spectrum of federal health care, education, and science programs essential to the health of our nation.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 151 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.