AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion proposal which includes support for transportation infrastructure, broadband access, the care economy, and research and development:
“The AAMC welcomes the Biden administration’s comprehensive infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan, to help address the nation’s long-term infrastructure needs and current economic challenges. We appreciate the plan’s historic new investments in research and development, broadly, given the role that innovation plays in both improving quality of life, driving economic growth, and the nation’s global competitiveness. As the administration and lawmakers examine further opportunities to invest in and build a sound foundation for future generations, we look forward to working with them to consider the fundamental role that medical research, health care, and public health infrastructure play in our nation’s path forward.
In addition to much needed investment in the nation’s traditional infrastructure, such as broadband and capital projects, we urge policymakers – as they reimagine and rebuild the economy – to prioritize four critical components to ensure that our nation is prepared to secure better health for all:
- Invest in research recovery efforts that will help the National Institutes of Health and other federal research agencies mitigate the coronavirus pandemic’s major disruptions to the research enterprise and workforce – especially for early-career, women, and underrepresented minority researchers – and innovations in fundamental and clinical research.
- Increase investment in the physician workforce and improve caregiver diversity by expanding support for graduate medical education and health care workforce programs, which help increase access to high-quality care, particularly for underserved populations in both rural communities and urban areas that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
- Strengthen our health care and public health infrastructure based on lessons learned from the current COVID-19 response to better prepare for future pandemics, including the creation of a new network of academic medical centers to be designated as pandemic centers. These centers would promote stronger collaborations between AAMC-member institutions and their public health and community organizations to strengthen local and national response to the pandemic.
- Ensure standardized, valid, inclusive data collection to address pervasive health inequities laid bare by the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color.
The AAMC looks forward to working with the country’s leaders to address the urgent health care and research needs in recovery and infrastructure legislation that will rebuild our country. These priorities will promote health for people everywhere by equipping medical schools and teaching hospitals – along with their faculty physicians, other clinicians, researchers, and public health professionals – with the resources to build the health infrastructure of the future while sustaining high-quality patient care and laying the groundwork to prevent and respond to future health threats.”