Action Center

Washington Update - April 2018
April 1, 2018 by Tyler Smith
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • The Government Relations team would like to thank the faculty and students of the USC PA program for their excellent work during the 2018 USC Advocacy Trip. This year, 35 students from USC convened at PAEA headquarters to learn about advocacy and meet with their representatives on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of PA education priorities in the Higher Education Act. Thank you for your leadership!
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, also known as the omnibus, in March, funding the government through the end of FY18. This spending package includes increases of $10 million for Primary Care Training and Enhancement grants, $8 million for Area Health Education Centers, and $3 million for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. Additionally, the bill also authorized a provision of H.R. 3262, the “GOOD” Act, creating a 5-year pilot program to provide educational assistance to certain members of the Armed Forces seeking to become PAs and work at VA facilities.
    • In late March, PAEA submitted letters to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee on the association’s priorities for the proposed reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act and Title VII of the Public Health Service Act. The HEA letter reiterated PAEA’s firm commitment to instituting Stafford loan parity for PA students as well as protecting Grad PLUS and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, while the Title VII letter reemphasized the association’s commitment to sustained investment in PCTE grants, Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, and Area Health Education Centers, among other Title VII initiatives.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • On March 15, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee on the Trump administration’s FY19 budget request. During the hearing, Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) strongly criticized the administration’s proposed elimination of Title VII health workforce programs.
    • The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a series of hearings in March on prevention and public health solutions to the opioid crisis. During the hearings, the subcommittee considered over 20 bills designed to address various aspects of the opioid epidemic, including H.R. 5102, the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act. H.R. 5102 would authorize $25 million annually for loan repayment for clinicians, including PAs, specializing in the treatment of substance use disorders, and PAEA has expressed its strong support for this legislation.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • In January, the Government Relations team sent an action alert asking PAEA members to contact their representatives and tell them to protect the Grad PLUS and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs as the proposed reauthorization of the HEA moves forward. If you have not already done so, please take action to protect these essential programs.
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