AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and Chief Public Policy Officer Danielle Turnipseed, JD, MHSA, MPP, issued the following statement regarding the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) bill under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“The AAMC is profoundly concerned over the proposed cuts and restrictions in the House spending bill that would jeopardize the health of all Americans. We are especially troubled by the steep funding cuts to several agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) programs like Title VII and VIII workforce programs, including the Health Careers Opportunity Programs and the Centers of Excellence.
For example, cutting the NIH budget by more than $6 billion would be a slap in the face to patients, families, and scientists pursuing medical advances against Alzheimer’s, cancer, mental health, addiction, and other conditions that affect people in every congressional district. Reducing the NIH’s capacity to support research nationwide so dramatically would undoubtedly slow our progress against existing and emerging threats to our nation's health, security, and economic competitiveness with global adversaries.
Additionally, the proposed elimination of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality would set back efforts to make health care safer, of higher quality, and more accessible, equitable, and affordable for patients around the country.
Moreover, if passed, the legislation’s problematic riders would interfere in the patient-clinician relationship, affect access to care in rural and other underserved communities, undermine public health, limit the education of future health care providers, and harm efforts to improve diversity and health equity. The riders would also set arbitrary and harmful limitations that would disrupt medical research toward new, effective cures and interventions.
We urge Congress to reject these dangerous funding levels and harmful policy provisions in the bill. Instead, lawmakers should advance as soon as possible a bipartisan spending bill that focuses on ensuring that the country is investing in programs and agencies that are critical to improving the health of patients, families, and communities nationwide.”