AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on passage of the continuing resolution (CR) by the House of Representatives and Senate to keep the government open until Dec. 11:
“The AAMC appreciates the House and Senate’s work to finalize and pass a continuing resolution that will avoid a government shutdown during an unprecedented global pandemic. In particular, we are pleased to see the inclusion of critical improvements to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs. These changes are vital to helping the nation’s teaching hospitals and physician faculty continue to provide critical care to patients now and in the future. We are also grateful that the CR includes additional funding for federal nutrition assistance programs. During a time when so many families are struggling to make ends meet, this support will help address health inequities resulting from food insecurity.
However, we are concerned that health care providers, researchers, students, and public health professionals – who have been our country’s first line of defense against COVID-19 – will remain in limbo despite ongoing challenges that the pandemic presents. Teaching hospitals, faculty physicians, and researchers across academic medicine have cared for patients and partnered with their communities in the face of dire circumstances for many months. Critical resources are urgently needed, such as for the National Institutes of Health – so labs can resume pre-pandemic research and advance COVID-related discovery – and for public health agencies to carry out vaccine planning, testing, contact tracing, and other efforts.
We strongly believe that a larger COVID-19 legislative relief package is essential to our nation’s health, and we urge our leaders to support the nation’s public health and health care heroes defining the frontlines by passing legislation that will deliver timely and critical resources in response to the ongoing pandemic.”