The AAMC, along with five other health organizations, endorsed on June 23 the Strengthening America’s Health Care Readiness Act (S. 4055), bipartisan legislation that would provide a historic investment in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).
The legislation, introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), would provide $5 billion in emergency supplemental funding to the NHSC. Of the amount appropriated, 40% would be dedicated for racial and ethnic minority health providers and for students from low-income and rural communities.
The bill also creates an “Emergency Service Corps for Surge Capacity,” which would expand the NHSC to allow members to serve in emergency capacities through the National Disaster Medical System. Those serving in a surge capacity role would be eligible for loan repayment while helping to expand our nation’s preparedness and surge capacity.
Upon the legislation’s introduction, Sen. Durbin noted, “Our health care professionals are doing heroic work on the front lines of our pandemic response. But the current public health crisis has highlighted our need for a national policy that increases the number of health workers to address shortages, medical disparities, and respond to emergencies.”
“As health care professionals across our country continue to battle COVID-19 on the frontlines, it’s up to Congress to step up and match their heroism, which is exactly what the Strengthening America’s Health Care Readiness Act does,” added Sen. Rubio.
The AAMC continues to advocate for loan forgiveness and scholarship opportunities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic [see Washington Highlights, May 8].