AAMC Statement on House Passage of Spending Package

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement in response to passage of a four-bill spending package by the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education:

“The AAMC applauds the House of Representatives for advancing legislation that invests in key programs that will benefit patients and strengthen the nation’s health security. 

Increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support research at the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and lead to scientific progress and treatments for a wide range of illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. The AAMC appreciates that members of Congress continue to recognize the value in preserving and enhancing our commitment to the full range of scientific inquiry.

In addition to the bill’s support for NIH, the AAMC applauds the investment in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, workforce and pipeline programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and key programs that will bolster the nation’s ability to respond to crises and major health threats. Specifically, new investment in efforts led by HRSA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration to increase physician training in certain specialties, as well as new funding for regional centers of excellence in substance use disorder education at medical schools and teaching hospitals, will bolster the health care community’s response to the opioid epidemic.

While today’s action is a positive step, it also is essential to reach agreement on the federal government’s overall spending for these increased investments to occur. We urge Congress and the administration to reach an agreement on raising the spending caps to allow the House and Senate to work together to solidify support for these key priorities in FY 2020.

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 154 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.