The House Energy and Commerce Committee July 12 voted to move workforce legislation to the House floor. Both the Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness Act of 2017 (EMPOWER) Act (H.R. 3728) and Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act (H.R.5385) were among the approved bills [see Washington Highlights, June 29].
An amendment to the EMPOWER Act was submitted by Health Subcommittee Chair Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), which would increase funding for the Primary Care Training and Enhancement Title VII programs to $48,924,000 and also increase the salary amount of Geriatric Academic Career Awards from $76,000 to $100,000. Dr. Burgess voiced his support of these awards to “more effectively attract and support the geriatrics faculty.” Rep. Schakowsky echoed the importance of the geriatric workforce programs in her statements.
On July 11, the AAMC sent a letter to Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) thanking them for their “efforts to reauthorize the Title VII programs” while also continuing to “urge appropriators to provide at least $424 million for the Title VII programs in FY 2019.” The letter highlighted the importance of the CHGME and Title VII programs in combating projected physician workforce shortages.
A vote on the legislation by the full Congress has not been scheduled.