AACOM Responds to President’s Budget Proposal, Works with Congress to Support Programs Vital to OME

AACOM Urges Congress to Invest in Research, Graduate Medical Education, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and Grad PLUS Loans


February 24, 2020

What You Need to Know


AACOM Advocates for NIH Funding, Public Health, Federal Financial Aid, and Loan Forgiveness

The Administration recently released its budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2021, which includes deep cuts to agencies and programs that are vital to educating the next generation of osteopathic physicians and improving patient health across the nation. AACOM has been actively working with Congress to support funding for key federal programs in FY21. We have joined the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research to recommend that Congress make for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a national priority, and co-sponsored a congressional briefing on the importance of for critical public health programs. In addition, our ED to MED campaign is mobilizing advocates to share their stories with Congress about why preserving both the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Grad PLUS Loan Programs is crucial to addressing the country’s physician shortage. We encourage you to today.


AACOM Office of Government Relations

On The Hill

White House Releases FY21 Budget Proposal; AACOM Issues Statement


On February 10, President Trump released his FY21 , totaling $4.8 trillion. with the proposal, which includes deep cuts to research, public health programs, federal student financial aid and loan forgiveness, and graduate medical education (GME). Of note, the proposal includes an overall 7.8 percent and 9 percent decrease in funding for the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services (HHS), respectively. As in the past, it proposes merging Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Hospital GME into a single, capped grant program, and eliminating the PSLF Program. It also recommends consolidating graduate student borrowing under one graduate loan program and setting annual and aggregate borrowing limits of $50,000 and $100,000 for graduate students. In addition, it would also drastically cut funding for health professions education training programs and federal research institutions including the NIH, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The President’s annual budget proposal is received by Congress as a statement of the Administration’s priorities and does not serve as a directive for federal funding. AACOM remains committed to working with the Administration and Congress to ensure a strong investment in GME, as well as other programs of importance to osteopathic medical education (OME), physicians-in-training, and the larger health care system. For AACOM’s analysis of budget items relevant to OME, .

AACOM Joins Letter to Congress to Make NIH Funding a National Priority


AACOM joined 334 national organizations as a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ in a letter to Congress, in FY21 funding for the NIH and urging Congress to support scientific innovation and progress in medical research. NIH-funded research improves our understanding of the fundamental life and health sciences and facilitates the development of diagnostic and therapeutic advances. Research funded by the NIH has dramatically increased our ability to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat diseases.

AACOM Cosponsors Congressional Briefing to Support Expiring Public Health Programs


Last week, AACOM, along with seven national organizations, to highlight the need for the reauthorization of essential public health programs, including the , National Health Service Corps (), and , which will expire on May 22. These programs are crucial to addressing the primary care physician workforce shortage and delivering health care services to vulnerable patients in need.


In addition, AACOM joined more than 50 organizations in letters to and leadership in support of a five-year reauthorization of these key programs. As a member of the THC Coalition, AACOM has the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act of 2019 (H.R. 2815/S. 1191).




Take Action! Help ED to MED #SavePSLF and #SaveGradPLUS


Under the Administration’s proposed FY21 budget, both the PSLF and Grad PLUS Loan Programs face drastic changes that, if enacted, would impact the next generation of health professionals and patients across the nation. Show your support for these programs by about why PSLF and Grad PLUS must be preserved to ensure patient health and equitable access to higher education. Join in this collective effort to and today!

Maria D. Jones, third-year student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

A Love of Medicine, a Love of Advocacy


Maria D. Jones, third-year student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, recently discovered . As February progresses and Valentine’s Day love continues to flourish, learn why she urges everyone to take a stance with her for the future of the osteopathic profession by .



Administration and Federal Agencies

Engage with Federal Officials at Educating Leaders, AACOM’s Annual Conference


During , AACOM’s annual conference to be held this March in Washington, DC, attendees will have multiple opportunities to engage with federal officials and discuss policy issues of importance to the OME community. The NIH Grants and Fellowship Opportunities pre-conference workshop on March 24 will focus on NIH funding and resources. Over the course of the half-day workshop, attendees will hear directly from the NIH about and submit competitive grant applications. Additionally, senior officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will host an interactive session on the role of the VA as an OME partner for establishing strong clinical rotations and GME. An update will also be provided on the implementation of and support the cultivation of a future physician workforce that is comprehensively trained to provide high-quality health care and meet the needs of the nation’s veteran patient populations. Members of the OME community, stakeholders, and members of allied organizations are encouraged to , attend these sessions, and participate in other thought-provoking and collaborative programming that will address timely issues facing our nation’s health care and medical education systems.

Osteopathic Clinicians: Apply Now for NHSC Loan Repayment Programs


The NHSC Loan Repayment Program (LRP), Substance Use Disorder Workforce LRP, and Rural Community LRP are now accepting applications for FY20. Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), these programs in Health Professional Shortage Areas. The NHSC will award up to $100,000 in loan repayment in exchange for providing care to patients in these underserved communities. A complete online application is due by Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 PM ET. Interested applicants may learn more about each program by participating in application webinars next month.

Featured Federal Resources and COM Engagement

Reminder: Apply by Tomorrow for the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program: HRSA is accepting applications for its Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program through February 25. The program aims to increase access in underserved communities to board certified addiction professionals who integrate primary care with mental health and substance use disorder prevention and treatment. Eligible applicants include U.S.-based sponsoring institutions of accredited addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry fellowship programs. .

NIAMS Webinar on Extramural Program Structure and Engagement Opportunities: The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) will host a webinar on February 26 from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM ET on understanding the NIAMS extramural program. Participants will hear from NIAMS directors and staff and learn how program directors interface with researchers and the community.

Attend the Next HRSA Virtual Job Fair: Job-seeking primary care trainees and practicing clinicians can interact with recruiters and discover more than 1,000 training and employment opportunities nationwide during HRSA’s next virtual job fair on March 4. .

Comment on the HHS Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: In collaboration with 25 other federal agencies, HHS has drafted its 2020 – 2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, which focuses on health IT as a catalyst to empower patients, lower costs, and deliver high-quality care. .

Respond to RFI on CMS Rural Maternal Health Care: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) to learn how to improve access, quality, and outcomes for women in rural communities before, during, and after pregnancy, and to gather information on the readiness of rural providers to respond to obstetric emergencies in rural areas. .

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