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AAMC Joins Groups Alerting Congress to Sequestration Impact on Health Professions Education, Patients

October 5, 2012—The AAMC joined 52 members of the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) in a Sept. 21 letter  alerting members of Congress to the impact of sequestration on the Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce programs, as well as the patients they serve.

According to a White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sequestration report released on Sept. 14 [see Washington Highlights, Sept. 21], discretionary programs within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), including the Title VII and Title VIII programs, will be subject to an 8.2 percent cut on Jan. 2, 2013.

The letter states “sequestration will undermine ongoing efforts of the programs to improve the supply, diversity, and distribution of the health care workforce in FY 2013,” and cites specific examples illustrating what the cut will mean for aspiring and practicing health professionals.

The groups also project how patients will be affected by the diminished training capacity.  For example, the letter estimates “4,704 fewer underserved and uninsured seniors receiving care in acute, ambulatory, or long-term care settings as a result of 6 fewer junior faculty awardees of the Title VII Geriatric Academic Career Awards,”and “6,560 fewer children receiving dental screenings and preventive services as a result of 34 fewer residents and 15 fewer faculty” trained through the Title VII Oral Health Training Program.

The letter also raises the importance of the government’s “relatively modest federal investment” in the programs, explaining grantees often leverage federal dollars to obtain funding from other sources. However, the groups point out that as a result, “the consequences of sequestration could be far worse,” as it will threaten the programs’ ability to secure these additional funding sources.

Further, programs “likely will struggle to remain viable in future years,” as the cuts from sequestration will be in addition to nearly $1 trillion in discretionary spending cuts  resulting from discretionary spending caps mandated by the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25) through 2021.

In closing, the letter states “these and other discretionary programs have already contributed their fair share to deficit reduction.” The letter urges Congress to work together to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction “that does not include further cuts to the health professions.”


Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418

Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806