AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services:
“The AAMC congratulates Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on her nomination as CMS administrator. She has been a strong, persistent, and effective voice in support of increasing patient access to vital health care, and her detailed understanding of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as her commitment to health equity, makes her a welcome partner in academic medicine’s work to improve the health of people everywhere.
Since the enactment of the ACA, the number of uninsured nonelderly Americans has decreased from over 46.5 million in 2010 to just below 27 million in 2016. For the health of all, it is essential that the nation finds ways to increase access to affordable health coverage, including sustaining and strengthening programs that provide access to health care coverage and reduce the health disparities experienced by many communities.
The Medicare program provides coverage for more than 62 million individuals, and AAMC-member teaching hospitals provide a disproportionate level of care for this population. Medicare also helps support the critical missions and complex patient populations served by the medical expertise and cutting-edge technology of our nation’s teaching hospitals and their physician faculty. Medicare-supported graduate medical education covers a crucial share of physician training costs and the costs associated with the specialized services available at the nation’s teaching hospitals. Protecting and improving the Medicare program and its social roles is critical for both patients and the nation.
Medicaid is the largest health insurance program in the country, covering one in five Americans, including many with unique and often costly health care needs. Teaching hospitals and their faculty physicians also provide care for a disproportionate number of these patients. A stable and secure Medicaid program is pivotal in supporting these vulnerable patients as well as the safety-net providers who care for them.
Strong and thriving federal health care programs are essential to our nation’s well-being, and the AAMC looks forward to working with Ms. Brooks-LaSure and other members of the Biden-Harris administration to enhance and protect these programs, increase access to care, and create a healthier future.”