AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement on the draft FY 2019 spending bill released today by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS):
“The AAMC appreciates that the subcommittee once again has proposed to invest substantially in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), though we recognize that the subcommittee’s budget allocation constrains its ability to invest more fully in the broad spectrum of federal agencies that support our national health security.
The ongoing work of AAMC member medical schools and teaching hospitals supported by the NIH helps our nation meet the health care challenges of today, creates hope for millions of Americans fighting chronic and life-threatening diseases, and drives local and regional economies. Largely as a result of the subcommittee’s tireless efforts, Congress has recognized the importance of medical research to the health of all Americans through robust increases in the NIH budget in recent years. As the process moves forward, we hope lawmakers can work toward a final NIH appropriation that more closely matches this trajectory of meaningful growth above inflation.
Additionally, to fully realize the benefits of medical research, Congress also needs to make strong investments across the health care continuum, including agencies and programs such as the Health Resources and Services Administration’s workforce programs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The AAMC looks forward to reviewing the bill more closely once additional details become available. We also urge lawmakers to avoid inclusion of problematic policy riders that may prevent the bipartisan support needed for timely enactment of a final spending bill.
The AAMC and the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals stand ready to work with lawmakers in both chambers to advance medical research and other priorities that are vital to improving the health of our nation.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.