AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding the version of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that was reported out of conference committee:
“The AAMC appreciates that members of the conference committee heard our concerns and chose to remove certain provisions from the conference committee tax legislation that would have negatively impacted our member medical schools and teaching hospitals, the patients they care for, the students and residents they teach and train, and the millions of Americans who gain hope from the research they conduct. We remain disappointed, however, that the legislation repeals the individual mandate.
We are pleased that the bill reported out of the conference committee did not include provisions that would have eliminated the tax benefit of Private Activity Bonds. In doing so, the conference committee has kept hospitals from facing higher borrowing costs that would have increased the cost of critical new research and patient care facilities.
We are also glad to see that the conference package will not put undue burden on medical students and graduate students in the research pipeline by imposing a tax on tuition waivers and exemptions. The removal of these provisions, and those that would have eliminated the student loan interest deduction and other education-related credits, will help keep medical education and biomedical research training within the reach of all who wish to pursue those paths.
While these actions will allow our members to continue to provide for the health of all, repealing the individual mandate will put the health of many of the patients who come through our doors at risk. According to the Congressional Budget Office, a repeal of the individual mandate would result in 13 million more individuals without insurance by 2027. A repeal will also drive up health care costs, as those without insurance will forgo preventative care, leading to potentially more complex and costlier treatment when they seek it out.”
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 152 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.