AAMC Says House Budget Plan Will Threaten Health Care Access
Washington, D.C., April 6, 2011— AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement today on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) FY2012 budget proposal, “The Path to Prosperity”:
“Reducing support for federal health care programs and rolling back expansion of coverage for uninsured Americans will result in a major setback on the road to meaningful health care reform, and the AAMC strongly urges Congress not to take the ‘path’ recommended by House budget leaders when it begins negotiations on the 2012 federal budget. The current deficit is a serious issue and we applaud the growing attention being paid to it. But this situation calls for shared sacrifice by all Americans instead of placing a heavy burden on our most vulnerable populations.
AAMC-member teaching hospitals provide 40 percent of all hospital-based charity care in the United States and treat a disproportionate share of Medicaid beneficiaries. The extensive proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare could endanger the ability of these institutions to care for the most vulnerable in our communities, as well as threaten the future supply of health professionals at a time when we face an unprecedented shortage of physicians.
In addition, by proposing a 13.5 percent cut followed by a five-year freeze of discretionary health spending, which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the House Republican budget will also jeopardize medical research progress that gives hope to millions of Americans burdened by disease, and contributes to the nation’s economic strength by creating skilled, high-paying jobs.
While we agree that controlling federal spending is critical to the nation’s fiscal health, we hope that Congress will not impose funding cuts that would decrease access to care and the availability of vital community services, and hamper life-saving medical research.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.