House Health Committees Boost GME, Health Care Funding in Reconciliation Bill

September 20, 2021

The House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees have approved their parts of the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, which includes investments in graduate medical education (GME), capital funding, and public health infrastructure. It also includes Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansions and long-term care and home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs.

The bill’s key provisions for hospitals, health care providers, and continuing care facilities include the following:

GME and the Physician Workforce

The Pathway to Practice Training Programs include funding for 1,000 medical school scholarships to increase the number of physicians practicing in rural and underserved communities, and 1,000 additional residency slots per year to raise the supply of underrepresented physicians. The additional slots would be eligible for Medicare funding starting in 2026.

Capital Funding and Public Health Infrastructure

The legislation includes $35 billion for public health infrastructure and the workforce, including $10 billion for certain hospital construction projects; $10 billion for Federally qualified health centers, plus $500 million for teaching health centers and behavioral health clinics; $1.25 billion for surveillance; $1 billion for medical school construction, expansion, and training in underserved communities; and $1 billion in nursing school investments in underserved areas.

ACA Expansions

The legislation temporarily expands the ACA’s premium tax credits and provides enhanced cost-sharing assistance. It would establish a Federal Medicaid program in the remaining non-expansion states and appropriate $10 billion annually to establish state reinsurance programs or offset out-of-pocket costs.

Long-Term Care and HCBS

The legislation includes $190 billion to expand access to HCBS and strengthen the HCBS workforce and $400 million to address staffing shortages and support elder justice programs.

GNYHA remains in close contact with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the New York Congressional delegation, and the committees of jurisdiction and will continue its advocacy for the legislation’s expansions of GME and hospital and health care provider relief, while opposing any health care funding cuts.