Washington, D.C., March 10, 2023—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 in response to President Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request. The proposal includes funding recommendations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and proposals concerning Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs critical to the health of communities nationwide:
“The AAMC appreciates that President Biden’s FY 2024 budget request proposes investments in programs and initiatives critical to improving the nation’s health, along with plans to strengthen Medicare and make strategic investments in Medicaid, which are vital to maintaining access to care for millions of Americans. These investments are integral to the health and well-being of all people, families, and communities nationwide.
In particular, the budget request shines a spotlight on the nation’s public health infrastructure and a number of pressing issues, including promoting cancer research, eliminating hepatitis C infections, expanding mental health services, and addressing veterans’ health. To make meaningful progress in these targeted areas will require strong foundational investments.
While we appreciate that the President’s budget request proposes new funding for some areas of NIH-supported medical research, the proposed overall funding level falls short in advancing fundamental research across the full range of scientific disciplines and disease areas and well short of the scientific opportunity. Robust, sustained, and predictable research funding increases are crucial not only to lay the foundation for tomorrow’s life-changing therapeutics, diagnostics, prevention strategies, and cures, but also to enhance our global competitiveness as other countries increasingly recognize the value of such investments.
For these reasons, the AAMC and nearly 400 organizations are urging Congress to provide at least $51 billion for NIH’s foundational work in FY 2024 to allow scientists at medical schools, teaching hospitals, and other labs across the country to continue making progress against conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, and others, while also serving as vital economic engines in their communities. Additionally, we reiterate that to best position the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to advance transformational science, any investment in ARPA-H must be coupled with meaningful growth in the NIH base budget.
We remain supportive of President Biden’s commitment to strengthen the fiscal standing of Medicare and ensuring access to care for beneficiaries. By shoring up support for Medicare and avoiding devastating cuts to hospitals and providers, the administration is reaffirming its commitment to improve access to care for patients. Medicare-supported graduate medical education is essential for training more physicians to help alleviate the dire physician shortage facing the United States. Increasing support for graduate medical education will also help to strengthen and diversify our health care workforce.
We commend President Biden’s efforts to ensure access to coverage and care for all. We support his proposal to permanently expand Affordable Care Act premium tax credits to ensure that individuals and families have continued access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage through the Marketplace. We applaud his proposal to provide coverage options to individuals residing in states that have not expanded Medicaid, as well as ensure 12 months of continuous coverage for patients during the critical post-partum window.
We also welcome President Biden’s proposal to increase funding for HRSA’s health professions programs, such as the Title VII workforce development programs – including the diversity programs – Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education program, and the National Health Service Corps, which all remain essential to strengthening our health workforce to better serve patients and communities. These programs shape the health workforce across disciplines and at all stages of the medical education continuum and educate current and future providers to serve the nation’s ever-growing needs. The proposed investments represent a necessary step to strengthening the workforce, while a more robust commitment to the full range of Title VII and VIII programs, the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program, and other key workforce priorities will be needed to address ongoing workforce challenges.
Our member institutions are directly involved in caring for both the physical and behavioral health needs of patients and communities, and as such, have witnessed firsthand the profound and devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and well-being of the nation. President Biden’s proposed investments in our behavioral health care delivery system and workforce would improve patients’ access to care. In addition, we laud proposals to increase access to comprehensive, affordable behavioral health services by improving benefit design and advancing mental health parity.
Lastly, we enthusiastically support the budget proposal’s investments in public health, preparedness, and health services research programs. The CDC, Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, and other key agencies and programs are essential to promoting our nation’s health security and well-being, and the AAMC urges lawmakers to ensure strong investment in public health and preparedness in FY 2024 and beyond.
We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to build upon this proposal and ensure robust investment in the programs and initiatives that improve the health of patients, families, and communities nationwide.”