Action Center

Washington Update - December 2020
December 1, 2020 by Tyler Smith
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • Over the course of 2020, PAEA constituents have sent over 7,000 messages to Capitol Hill via the Grassroots Action Network to advocate for COVID-19 relief, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus, and other key legislative priorities. To all students, faculty, and outside stakeholders who worked to advance these legislative aims this year, thank you for your impactful advocacy!
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • On November 10, Senate Republicans unveiled 12 proposed appropriations bills to set agency funding levels for fiscal year 2021. The bill funding the Department of Health and Human Services included a number of notable increases, including $14 million for the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program, $4 million for Area Health Education Centers, and $3 million for the Faculty Loan Repayment program. Beyond these increases, the bill also renewed a previously-rejected proposal to eliminate the Health Careers Opportunity Program. PAEA joined with the Health Professions Education and Nursing Coalition to oppose these cuts in a letter on November 24.
    • On November 16, PAEA sent a letter to the Biden-Harris transition team to congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their recent electoral victory. In the letter, PAEA highlighted ongoing priorities for PA programs, faculty, and students, including addressing the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and substance use disorder epidemic, promoting workforce diversity, and expanding access to higher education.
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • The Supreme Court began oral arguments on November 10 in the case of California v. Texas. A ruling in the case to determine the impact of the elimination of the individual mandate penalty on the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality is expected in mid-2021.
    • Following the November 3 general election, Democrats retained a narrow majority in the House of Representatives with control of the Senate set to be determined by the outcome of two Georgia run-off elections taking place on January 5. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee chair for the 117th Congress will be determined based upon this outcome with Senators Richard Burr and Patty Murray expected to lead committee Republicans and Democrats respectively.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • As Congress works to set final agency funding levels for fiscal year 2021, PAEA is asking all advocates to urge their representatives to support increased investments in key health workforce development programs such as the Health Careers Opportunity Program and Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. Please contact your members of Congress in support of this request today.
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