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 President Biden’s request for fiscal year (FY) 2022 discretionary funding. The proposal includes investments to advance medical research, combat the opioid epidemic, address health inequities and disparities, increase and diversify the nation’s health care workforce, and improve readiness for future public health crises:
“The AAMC is pleased to see the Biden administration’s substantial proposed budget increases in FY 2022 funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, including additional funding for medical research and public health agencies, which reflect important steps to reinvest in the nation’s health security. Robust annual funding increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal health and research agencies are essential to protecting the health of every individual in the United States, and we applaud the president for recognizing these investments as a key national priority.
In particular, the president’s proposal to provide $51 billion for the NIH holds the potential to be truly transformative in driving medical and health advances that will benefit people everywhere. These advances can happen through an ongoing robust commitment to the foundational work that has been the basis for every major breakthrough improving the lives of patients around the globe. To support this goal, the AAMC recommends at least $46.1 billion in program level funding for the NIH’s base budget, and we look forward to learning more about the proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.
The AAMC also appreciates the administration’s recognition of the need to develop a diverse and culturally competent health workforce and the need for increased investment in rural health providers. We continue to urge the administration to strengthen the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Title VII workforce diversity, rural health, and community-based training programs that are proven to foster a diverse workforce and enhance culturally competent care for the most vulnerable patients. As we await submission of the president’s full FY 2022 budget request, we strongly encourage the administration to prioritize another critical investment in the nation’s health care infrastructure through the expansion of federally-supported graduate medical education positions that would help to alleviate our physician shortage and improve access to high-quality care.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on how vital scientific, health care, and public health infrastructure are in ensuring the well-being of our nation. The AAMC and the academic medicine community are committed to working with the nation’s leaders to continue advancing robust, sustained growth in support of federal discretionary spending priorities such as research and public health and a strong investment in other policies that improve the health of all.”