- Star Grassroots Advocates
- As we reflect on 2017 and transition to 2018, the Government Relations team would like to extend a special thank you to all of the PA program directors, faculty, and students who have worked to advance PAEA’s advocacy agenda this year. From April’s Leadership Summit to the September Health Policy Fellowship as well as consistent engagement in digital advocacy efforts and meetings with representatives and staff in their district offices, we are grateful for the service performed by the PA education community and look forward to continuing our work together in the coming year.
- Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
- On December 1st, Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02) introduced a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. PAEA submitted comments to the committee expressing appreciation for the elimination of the disparity in federal borrowing limits between PAs and students of similar professions while describing concerns with portions of the legislation related to Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), the accreditation process, and the elimination of the GRAD Plus loan option for students as well as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for future graduates.
- PAEA recently submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to express appreciation for the finalization of the new improvement activity for preceptors of PA students for the 2018 MIPS performance year. In our comments, we urged CMS to expand eligibility for the improvement activity to all practice sites in addition to those in small, rural, or underserved areas identified in the final regulation. PAEA expressed our commitment to ensuring the implementation of the improvement activity has a significant impact in alleviating the clinical site shortage.
- Health Care News in Washington
- President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law in December, marking the administration’s first major legislative accomplishment. While the overall intent of the legislation is to overhaul the nation’s tax system, congressional Republicans succeeded in repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate as a provision of the tax package, which required individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a fine. PAEA issued statements earlier this year condemning previous proposals to limit access to care by repealing the individual mandate or limiting Medicaid expansion under the ACA.
- Opportunities for Action
- In December, Congress temporarily extended funding for the National Health Service Corps. We’re continuing our campaign to tell Congress to ensure long-term funding for the program. Please take action and tell your representatives to continue the crucial work of the National Health Service Corps.