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November 14, 2022

AACOM in Action

What You Need to Know

Congressional Elections Lead to New Representation for COMs, Likely Divided Government

While results in several elections are still pending, a change in party control for the U.S. House of Representatives appears likely as Republicans look to assume a narrow majority following the November 8, 2022 midterm elections. Democrats will retain their Senate majority following Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s win in Nevada, which gives Democrats 50 seats, enough for a majority with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking any ties. A runoff election in Georgia on December 6 will determine the final uncalled Senate seat.

 

Divided government may prevent any large-scale policy change. More likely to pass will be smaller, bipartisan items of limited scope as well as expiring provisions up for renewal. AACOM will continue to work to advance our priorities in this new environment, including advocating for the Fair Access in Residency (FAIR) Act, increasing National Institutes of Health funding for colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs), renewing authorization for Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education funding set to expire in September 2023 and many others.

 

Redistricting and the election has changed congressional representation for many COMs as the 118th Congress begins in January. Below is a list of COMs with new or potentially new Representatives and Senators. For more information and analysis on the election results, . For biographies and more information on each new freshman COM representative, .

House:

COM Representative Party District
ATSU-SOMA Greg Stanton D AZ-4
CHSU-COM Kevin McCarthy R CA-20
TUCOM-CA John Garamendi D CA-8
NSU-KPCOM Clearwater Anna Luna R FL-13
PCOM Georgia Andrew Clyde R GA-9
DMU-COM Zach Nunn R IA-3
MSUCOM Clinton Township John James R MI-10
MSUCOM Detroit Shri Thanedar D MI-13
KCU-COM Joplin Eric Burlison R MO-7
WCUCOM Mike Ezell R MS-4
CUSOM Wiley Nickel D NC-13
Burrell COM Gabe Vasquez D NM-2
TUNCOM Dina Titus D NV-1
LECOM Elmira Nick Langworthy R NY-23
NYITCOM Long Island George Santos R NY-3
TouroCOM-NY Middletown Pat Ryan D NY-18
OU-HCOM Troy Balderson R OH-12
OSU-COM at the Cherokee Nation Josh Brecheen R OK-2
WesternU/COMP-Northwest Lori Chavez-DeRemer D OR-5
SHSU-COM Morgan Luttell R TX-8
UIWSOM Henry Cuellar D TX-28

Senate:

COM Senator Party State
ACOM Katie Britt R AL
VCOM-Auburn Katie Britt R AL
PCOM Georgia Run-off on December 6   GA
PCOM South Georgia Run-off on December 6   GA
ATSU-KCOM Eric Schmitt R MO
KCU-COM Joplin Eric Schmitt R MO
KCU-COM Kansas Eric Schmitt R MO
CUSOM Ted Budd R NC
OU-HCOM J.D. Vance R OH
OU-HCOM Cleveland J.D. Vance R OH
OU-HCOM Dublin J.D. Vance R OH
OSU-COM Markwayne Mullin R OK
OSU-COM at the Cherokee Nation Markwayne Mullin R OK
LECOM John Fetterman D PA
LECOM Seton Hill John Fetterman D PA
PCOM John Fetterman D PA

Lame Duck Session Set to Begin

 

Congress will return this week, kicking off a lame duck session with a lengthy to-do list. The first week will be consumed with internal organizing activities in preparation for the upcoming 118th Congress. House Republicans have indicated that they’ll hold leadership elections this week, while House Democrats are likely to wait until after Thanksgiving.

 

Once Congress returns from the Thanksgiving holiday, year-end legislative business is expected to begin in earnest (though behind the scenes work has been ongoing over the past weeks). The top “must pass” item on Congress’ to-do list is an omnibus appropriations package that funds the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2023. This package will be the key piece of legislation that moves during this final stretch of calendar year 2022 and, as a result, will become the vehicle for other policy priorities, including healthcare. AACOM will continue to advocate for our language in the appropriations bill to expand osteopathic research at the NIH and study the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Please refer to our for additional details on healthcare policy priorities.

AACOM Advocates

Use Your Voice – Urge Congress to Pass the FAIR Act

 

Your advocacy is playing a critical role in advancing the FAIR Act in Congress. Since its introduction on September 15, 2022, more than 1,200 physicians, students, faculty and osteopathic medical education community members have sent Members of Congress nearly 4,000 messages in support of the bill. This momentum is making a difference and continuing to grow the number of cosponsors. It only takes a moment to advocate—join the movement!

Policy Update

Rep. Lesko Cosponsors FAIR Act

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), who represents the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM), recently cosponsored the FAIR Act. Rep. Lesko is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which shares jurisdiction over the bill.

“Midwestern University established AZCOM in Glendale, Arizona in 1995 to help meet our country’s growing need for physicians,” says AZCOM Dean Lori Kemper, DO. “AZCOM has since increased its class size to help address the need for more physicians in Arizona. On behalf of AZCOM and its students, I thank Rep. Debbie Lesko for supporting the FAIR Act, which would provide AZCOM graduates with a fair path to residency training and help ensure that Arizona patients have access to physician-led care.”

ED Announces 90/10 Rule, Borrower Defense and PSLF Changes

 

  • At the end of October, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced final rules for the and as well as permanent changes to the .
  • The 90/10 regulations prohibit for-profit colleges from receiving more than 90 percent of their revenue from federal student aid beginning in 2023. AACOM urged ED to for medical schools in our response to the proposed rule.
  • The Borrower Defense regulations update the rules for major targeted debt relief programs and improve the automatic loan discharge process for borrowers whose school closed, who have a total and permanent disability or whose loans were falsely certified.
  • The PSLF changes provide improvements for borrowers seeking forgiveness under Income Driven Repayment and make permanent several elements of the PSLF waiver that expired on October 31, 2022. These regulations are all slated to take effect starting July 1, 2023. To learn more, view AACOM’s summaries of the and the .

Administration Pauses Student Loan Forgiveness Applications

 

  • On November 10, 2022 a U.S. District Judge in Texas ruled that the Biden Administration did not have the authority to forgive student loans, ruling the plan unconstitutional.
  • The Administration has already appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but in the interim, has stopped accepting applications for loan forgiveness. .

Engagement and Resources

Apply Now for Mental and Behavioral Health Training Awards: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is awarding $60 million to 23 recipients to train primary care residents in the prevention, identification, diagnosis, treatment and referral of services for mental and behavioral health conditions. HRSA is hosting a from 3:30 to 5:00 PM ET on October 18, 2022. .

Apply Now for Preventive Medicine Residency Funding: HRSA is awarding $6.7 million to 16 recipients to create new preventive medicine residencies at eligible entities, including colleges of osteopathic medicine. The goal of this program is to support access to preventive medicine and to integrate population health with primary care to improve the health of communities. .

Reminder: Applications Open for the Rural Health Network Development Program: The HRSA Office of Rural Health Policy is accepting applications for the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) Program. The goal of the RHND Program is to address gaps in service, enhance systems of care and expand capacity of the local rural healthcare system. HRSA anticipates awarding more than $13 million in grants across 44 awards. .

Up to $120k in Loan Forgiveness Available to Qualifying Applicants: Fourth-year medical students can apply now for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program. The program offers up to $120,000 in loan repayment funds to eligible borrowers who provide primary health services in Health Professional Shortage Areas for up to three years after graduation. AACOM and the NHSC recently held an on the program. .

New HRSA Funding Opportunity – Apply Now for Teaching Health Center Planning and Development Program Awards: HRSA is awarding $23.5 million to 47 recipients to establish new accredited community-based primary care medical or dental residency programs and residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine-pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, general dentistry, pediatric dentistry or geriatrics to address shortages in the primary care physician and dental workforce and challenges faced by healthcare professionals in rural and underserved communities. .

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

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