The Graduate Medical Education (GME) Advocacy Coalition sent a letter of support to key committee leaders on Sept. 1 urging the inclusion of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (S. 834/H.R. 2256) in upcoming reconciliation legislation. The letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richie Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) contained nearly 70 signatories. The signatories sent the letter to committee leaders ahead of the start of critical markups in the House Ways and Means Committee, which began on Sept. 9 [refer to related story].
The letter emphasized the dire physician shortage in the United States, noting that physicians “are a vital component of our nation’s health care infrastructure.” Additionally, it stated that the shortage stands to be “exacerbated by an aging physician population, rising rates of physician burnout, and early retirement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The signatories also highlighted Congress’ recent creation of 1,000 new Medicare-supported GME positions and noted that “more is needed to substantially increase the number of physicians.”
“We urge you to include additional Medicare-supported GME training positions in the upcoming reconciliation package, and we look forward to working with you to expand and diversify the physician workforce and ensure that patients have access to the care they need,” the letter concluded.