December 6, 2021

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

Government Funding Extended into February After Shutdown Scare


Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown set for December 3 by passing a continuing resolution (CR), which extends current levels of funding and reauthorizes expiring programs through February 18.


The CR gives Congress more time to continue negotiating fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations bills. AACOM persists in our efforts to ensure addressing National Institutes of Health funding for colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs), as well our other , are included in any final package.


The upcoming December 15 deadline for addressing the debt ceiling was not included in the CR deal. Discussions are continuing at the Senate leadership level, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressing confidence that the government will not default on its debt.

House Passes Build Back Better Act, Senate Changes Expected


On November 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, along a largely party line vote of 220-213. The bill contains many AACOM priorities, including 4,000 new Medicare-funded residency slots focused on primary care rural training and $3.37 billion for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, along with other . Negotiations continue in the Senate where key Senators are expressing concern with several provisions. Further changes to the legislation are likely.

AACOM Advocates


Urge the Senate to Bolster the Physician Workforce in Build Back Better

As the Senate considers the BBB, urge your Senators to include measures that strengthen our public health infrastructure and the physician workforce. Our country faces a dire physician shortage, especially in rural and medically underserved areas. Continued investment in federal graduate medical education (GME) and programs that bolster the healthcare workforce is critical to ensure there is an adequate and equitably distributed physician supply.


Tell the House to pass the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act

Now that the House Energy and Commerce Committee favorably reported the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (H.R. 1667), your voice is critical to urge the full House to pass this bipartisan/bicameral legislation. AACOM strongly supports this bill to improve mental health and prevent suicide by healthcare professionals. This important legislation will allow COMs to apply for training grants to address this urgent need.

Policy Update

Democrats Call for PSLF Program Relief for Service Members


  • Last month, 15 Democratic Senators to Secretary Cardona addressing the Education Department (ED)'s to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program for members of the military.
  • Among , the overhaul would allow service members to count months spent on active duty toward PSLF, even if a service member’s loans were in deferment at the time.
  • The Senators applauded ED’s work and called for the temporary changes to be made into official regulations.

NDAA May Include Higher Ed Provisions


  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has indicated that he may offer an amendment to the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act to incorporate the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (S. 1260).
  • S. 1260 has several provisions relevant to the OME community, including $25 billion for research workforce and research institutions that have faced financial hardships and research disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For the complete summary of provisions, .

Engagement and Resources

Attend AACOM and AIAMC's Joint Program on Growing GME: On January 18, join AACOM and the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers for a half-day virtual conference that explores methods to succeed in expanding GME. Presenters include Captain Paul Jung, MD, MPH, MBA, director, Division of Medicine and Dentistry, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Workforce; Dave Bergman, JD, VP, Government Relations, AACOM; Julie Crockett, director of government relations, AACOM; and Jordan Vivian, associate director of government relations, AACOM. .

Deadline Extended for NHSC Loan Repayment Programs: The application deadline for the National Health Service Corp (NHSC)’s Loan Repayment Program (LRP), Substance Use Disorder Workforce LRP and Rural Community LRP is extended until February 3, 2022 at 7:30 PM ET. The programs offer full or partial loan repayment in exchange for service in Health Professional Shortage Areas. A historic $800 million in American Rescue Plan funding will allow the NHSC to award more applicants than ever before. .

Visit AACOM's for federal grants of interest to osteopathic medical education.

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