Bipartisan Bill Receives Unanimous Support
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved Rep. Joe Pitts' (R-PA) legislation to help train pediatricians. The bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1852, reauthorizes the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) Payment Program to help keep well-trained doctors in the pipeline by maintaining existing hospital graduate medical education programs.
"Today, the Subcommittee acted unanimously to reauthorize an important program that is responsible for training 40 percent of our nation's pediatricians and 43 percent of pediatric subspecialties," said Rep. Pitts. "I'm proud to work with Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) to make sure that we have enough doctors trained specifically to care for children."
Despite the program's success in reversing declines in pediatric training programs in the 1990s, President Obama's fiscal year 2012 Budget eliminated funding for the program. H.R. 1852 maintains the funding levels for the program by providing $330 million to hospitals over the next five years.
"We're one step further toward passage of H.R. 1852, which will ensure that we have well-trained cadre of pediatric professionals," said Rep. Pallone in his opening statement. "At a time when we are still facing a shortage of pediatricians in New Jersey and across the country we should not slow down funds for the pipeline of new specialists."
Nationwide, 56 hospitals in 30 states participate in the program which funds medical school graduates, enhances hospitals' research capabilities and improves hospitals' ability to provide care to vulnerable and underserved children. In 2009, the program supported the training of 5,361 resident physicians.
In Pennsylvania, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Temple University Hospital, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh all participate in the program.