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Public Statements

Repealing Mandatory Funding for Graduate Medical Education

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Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PITTS. I would like to thank the gentleman from Kentucky for his leadership on this issue.

Section 5508 of PPACA authorizes the Secretary to award grants to teaching health centers to establish newly accredited or expanded primary care residency training programs. The new health care law, PPACA, provides a mandatory appropriation of $230 million for this purpose for the period from FY 2011 through FY 2015.

You may recall that in the President's fiscal year 2012 budget, he eliminated funding for training at children's hospitals. Because of this, I and the ranking member of the Health Subcommittee, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) have introduced H.R. 1852, a bill to reauthorize the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program for an additional 5 years at the current funding levels.

While the administration couldn't find money in its budget for training at children's hospitals, PPACA somehow was able to provide a direct mandatory appropriation of $230 million for other teaching health centers, with no further action, input, or approval required by Congress. And PPACA did this with a number of funds, mandatory appropriations.

The bill before us today, H.R. 1216, simply converts PPACA's mandatory appropriations to an authorization, subject to the annual appropriations process, just like the Children's Hospital GME program, making it discretionary. Passage of the bill will also save $215 million over 5 years.

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