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) 2023 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. The bill includes 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 applauds the comprehensive investments in the FY 2023 spending bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee yesterday. The significant increase in funding for NIH, CDC, and other federal health and research agencies is imperative to reinforce the nation’s health and research infrastructure and prepare the country for future public health threats. The partnerships between these agencies and medical schools and teaching hospitals are crucial to maintaining the nation’s health and well-being.
The legislation would make a critical investment in the NIH’s base budget with a $2.5 billion increase to support foundational research across the country. More than half of the research supported by the NIH takes place at medical schools and teaching hospitals. This ongoing robust support for crucial research will directly benefit patients and families by enabling scientists at academic medical centers nationwide to advance new and better preventive interventions, diagnostics, treatments, and cures. We commend the committee’s ongoing leadership in support of NIH and look forward to working with the full House and the Senate to maximize the investment in medical research.
We also appreciate that the bill would dedicate funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) separately from the NIH-base budget to foster innovation and discovery through both entities in their work to improve the health of patients and communities.
The AAMC appreciates the bill’s meaningful investment in the CDC, including significantly increased funding for firearm injury and mortality prevention research, social determinants of health, modernizing public health data surveillance and analytics, improving maternal and infant health outcomes, and opioid overdose prevention and surveillance. These investments would play a critical role in improving overall health outcomes by strengthening public health infrastructure and tackling nationwide health challenges to keep people and communities as healthy as possible.
We commend the committee’s increases for the HRSA Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce development programs, and in particular, the workforce diversity programs. The bill’s funding levels would be an important step in developing a strong, diverse, and culturally competent health workforce, which would help address health inequities, particularly in rural, marginalized, and other underserved communities nationwide. We also are grateful for increased funding for National Health Service Corps, Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, and the Rural Residency Planning and Development grants, which would help ensure that underserved and rural communities have access to the physicians they need.
Additionally, as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the increased strain felt by the health care workforce over the past few years, we are grateful the bill would set aside new funding specifically for addressing burnout in the health care workforce, investing in behavioral health, and providing grants to help improve and enhance security for providers and health care facilities.
This legislation would provide meaningful, essential resources to strengthen our federal research and health infrastructure. As the appropriations process moves ahead, we look forward to continuing to work with Congress toward timely enactment of a final spending bill that prioritizes the health and well-being of the nation.”