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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in support of H.R. 297, the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education Support Reauthorization Act of 2013.
As every parent knows, it's very important to have a trusted doctor to turn to when their child gets sick. Since its inception in 1999, the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education program, known as CHGME, has helped to make sure that the doctor is there and prepared to diagnose any symptoms that our children face.
In fact, the program has been a true success. In the 1990s, declines in pediatric training programs threatened the stability of the pediatric workforce, and CHGME helped to reverse these dangerous declines. Even then, Congress, in a bipartisan way, recognized that if we didn't create and fund programs that would train doctors to treat these children, there won't be anyone left to take care of them.
That's why the House overwhelmingly supported reauthorization of the program in the 112th Congress, passing stand-alone legislation in September 2011 and also including the reauthorization in broader legislation in December 2012.
With this Federal CHGME support, children's hospitals can play a key role in ensuring the continued growth of our Nation's pediatric workforce. In 2009, the program supported the training of 5,361 resident physicians nationally. The program will also help to enhance hospitals' research capabilities and improve hospitals' ability to provide care to vulnerable and underserved children.
Reauthorizing CHGME continues to be one of my top health priorities, and I want to thank Congressman Pitts, the chairman of our Health Subcommittee, for working with me on this bill. Together with his help and leadership, we were able to move this bill again swiftly through our committee and to the floor upon convening this Congress.
Mr. Speaker, this program has proven results, and it's past time that we finally reauthorize CHGME so that we can provide certainty to hospitals, doctors, and their patients. Children in our communities are counting on this program to train a future generation of pediatricians, and I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the bill. I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to now yield 3 minutes to my colleague from Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline).
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