AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher, JD, issued the following statement on the passage of the fiscal year (FY) 2022 spending bill by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, which includes historic increases in funding for several key programs and agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA):
“The AAMC deeply appreciates the FY 2022 spending bill’s historic investments in programs to promote the health of patients, communities, and the nation and to begin to reverse chronic underfunding of national public health and health care priorities. For more than a year and a half during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed firsthand the critical role of the NIH, CDC, and other federal health and research agencies that work with medical schools and teaching hospitals to keep the population healthy. The increased funding passed by the House Appropriations Committee today is essential to strengthen the nation’s health and research infrastructure, to improve the health of people everywhere, and to best prepare for future public health threats.
We applaud the bill’s landmark investment in the NIH overall, particularly the significant commitment to the base budget for foundational research across the agency. Ongoing, robust support for this fundamental work directly benefits patients and families by enabling scientists at academic medical centers nationwide to advance new and better future diagnostics, preventive interventions, treatments, and cures. In addition to building on Chairwoman DeLauro’s and Subcommittee Ranking Member Cole’s longstanding legacy of growing NIH’s base, we are keen to continue working with the administration and lawmakers to maximize additional opportunities for innovation and discovery, including fulfilling the goals of the proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.
Additionally, the AAMC praises the bill’s vital and meaningful commitment to the CDC, including funding for firearm injury and mortality prevention research, social determinants of health, community and youth violence prevention, and opioid overdose prevention and surveillance, among other key public health challenges. Likewise, the new dedicated funding for general public health infrastructure, as well as increases for key preparedness programs at the CDC and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response are key assets in tackling both current and emerging threats.
We commend the committee’s increases for the HRSA Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce development programs, especially for the diversity pathway programs — the largest in over a decade. These long overdue proposed funding levels are an important first step in developing a strong, diverse, and culturally competent health workforce which would address health inequities, particularly in rural, marginalized, and other underserved communities nationwide.
The comprehensive investments included in this legislation would provide essential resources to strengthen our federal health infrastructure. As the appropriations process moves ahead, we look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the White House toward timely enactment of a final spending bill that prioritizes the health and well-being of the nation.”