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Funding Research and Medical Education

While various proposals have been suggested to change how graduate medical education programs are funded through Medicare, teaching hospitals continue to be under considerable financial pressure. The current shortage of nurses and other allied health professionals also may result in transfers of federal funds from some physician education programs to other disciplines.

The AMA is working to ensure that any change in funding for graduate medical education results in an adequate and stable system of financial support, preferably from all payers. In addition, the AMA continues to work to increase appropriations for the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other agencies.

Federal legislative activities

The Higher Education Act Reauthorization of 2008 (P.L. 110-315) -- On August 14, 2008, the “Higher Education Act Reauthorization” was signed into law. The HEA includes provisions for lender reporting and disclosure requirements on student loans and also establishes a loan forgiveness program for service in areas of national need which include certain medical specialists and mental health professionals as well as nurses and members of nursing faculty at accredited nursing schools. Eligible professionals can receive up to $10,000 total in loan forgiveness.

The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”(P.L. 111-5) -- On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the economic stimulus package into law which included funding for the NHSC and Title VII health professions programs to address health care workforce shortages.

Letter to Senator Burr supporting amendment to the Affordable Healthcare Choices Act restoring the 20/220 pathway economic hardship deferment, June 23, 2009PDF FIle

Letter to Rep. Michael McMahon in support of H.R. 2332, Future Physicians Serving America Act of 2009, May 15, 2009PDF FIle

Letter to Sen. Nelson in support of S. 860 - Health Professionals State Loan Repayment Tax Relief Act of 2009, May 4, 2009PDF FIle

Workforce Issues in Health Care Reform: Assessing the Present and Preparing for the FuturePDF FIle
Statement of the AMA to the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, March 12, 2009