AAMC and two of the coalitions it leads April 15 submitted statements for the record to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittees, which determine funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and other programs under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The AAMC urged House and Senate appropriators to provide “at least $34.5 billion through the Labor-HHS spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2017.” The letter adds that this additional funding would help “ensure that NIH-funded research can continue to improve our nation’s health and enhance our competitiveness in today’s global information and innovation-based economy.” Moreover, the AAMC thanked Senate appropriators for its “efforts to retain the limit on salaries that can be drawn from NIH extramural awards at Executive Level II of the Federal Executive Pay Scale.”
AAMC also described the importance of investing in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as well as workforce programs administered by HRSA, including Title VII health professions, Title VIII nursing, Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education programs, and the National Health Service Corps.
The AAMC-led Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, a coalition of patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry supporting funding for NIH, also submitted testimony that “recommends the highest possible funding level for NIH, and encourages the Subcommittee to stop the pernicious cuts to research funding that squander invaluable scientific opportunities, threaten medical progress and continued improvements in our nation’s health, and jeopardize our economic vitality.”
AAMC also submitted on behalf of the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC), an informal alliance with more than 60 national groups focused on the Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce development programs, testimony to House and Senate appropriators. The HPNEC statement recommends $524 million for the programs to “improve the supply, distribution, and diversity of the nation’s health professionals.” In addition, the statement recommends appropriators support the president’s FY 2017 budget proposal of shifting funds for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to HRSA.