AAMC Statement on the Deficit Reduction Plan
Washington, D.C., August 2, 2011— AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement today on congressional action to lift the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit:
“America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals recognize the critical importance of taking steps to reduce the deficit and put our nation back on a positive economic track. We understand that difficult choices have to be made, but we believe that these choices must assure our nation’s physical as well as fiscal health through an approach that balances both spending reductions and revenue increases.
Continued access to physicians and hospitals is central to keeping our nation healthy. If teaching hospital funding is cut, patients could see an immediate impact through reduced access to critical health care services such as trauma centers and burn units. In addition, cuts to teaching hospitals will reduce access to health care by triggering reductions in physician training programs at teaching hospitals, greatly exacerbating the projected shortage of over 90,000 doctors just within the next 10 years.
We also remain extremely concerned about the possibility of significant cuts to NIH support for medical research. To our nation, medical research is an important driver of innovation and economic growth and one of the best investments we can make in our future. To patients and their families, research means hope. Moving forward, we strongly urge Congress not to reduce this critical investment in our country’s future.
As Congress and the Administration continue their efforts to reduce the deficit over the next few months, we strongly urge our nation’s leaders to be careful where they cut and to consider ways to increase revenues as well as cut spending. Reducing the deficit is important, but cutting physician training and medical research at a time when our nation faces a critical shortage of doctors would threaten the health of all Americans.”
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.