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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Endorses Bill Addressing Social Determinants of Health


    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
    Brett Roude, Legislative Analyst

    On April 14, the AAMC endorsed the Social Determinants Accelerator Act (SDAA, H.R. 2503), which would address the nonmedical factors that affect health outcomes and can result in unfair, avoidable health inequities.

    The legislation — introduced by Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) — would authorize an interagency technical advisory panel on social determinants of health (SDOH) and create planning grants for state, local, and tribal governments to establish accelerator programs that address SDOH.

    In the fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations bill, Congress provided $3 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a SDOH pilot program, which included the interagency panel that would be authorized in the SDAA. In the FY 2022 discretionary budget request, the Biden administration is proposing $153 million for the SDOH program at the CDC [refer to Washington Highlights, April 16].

    In a press release, Bustos stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep disparities in our health system and greatly exacerbated the already persistent barriers too many families in Illinois and across our country face to living healthy lives, such as a lack of access to fresh foods, affordable health care and safe housing to name just a few.”

    “The Social Determinants Accelerator Act is the innovative bipartisan solution we need to finally take on these longstanding issues at the root and empower local leaders with the tools they need to create healthier communities,” she added.

    Cole noted, “It is critical we assist states in developing strategies to improve health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries by addressing the factors that adversely impact their health status. Such strategies will result in more efficient spending of federal and state health care dollars and a healthier population.”