Action Center

Washington Update - August 2022
August 4, 2022 by Catherine Majewski
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • On July 15, PAEA’s Government Relations Steering Committee (GRSC) conducted calls with congressional offices as part of the 2022 Annual GRSC Meeting to request support for the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S.4260), the Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act (H.R. 2274), and the Physician Assistant Education Public Health Initiatives Act (H.R. 3890). Special thanks to all our GRSC members who contributed to another successful annual meeting. 
  • Advancing PAEA’s Advocacy Agenda
    • PAEA’s Government Relations team conducted virtual advocacy training sessions with PA students and faculty at Creighton University and Wingate University during the month of July. During the trainings, students and faculty learned about the Association’s key policy priorities as well as opportunities to advocate on behalf of PA education and the profession. 
    • On July 21, PAEA, along with over 100 organizations representing students, student loan borrowers, teachers, workers, and consumers, signed onto a letter to the Biden administration requesting an extension of the current Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver through 2023 and concurrent timelines for the PSLF waiver and Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) adjustment. The letter also proposes the expansion of both policies to ensure that all borrower types receive credit for the entirety of the time since they first entered repayment and the continuation of the current payment pause until loan cancellations from the waiver and adjustment are processed.
    • On July 29, PAEA submitted a letter to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in response to the recent Request for Information issued to inform the HHS Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care. The letter provides several recommendations to increase access to primary care services including additional clinical training opportunities in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), expanded eligibility for preceptors to receive financial incentives, the utilization of HHS Notices of Funding Opportunities to encourage the training of health professions students, and greater coordination between HRSA’s health workforce diversity programs and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). 
  • Health Care News in Washington
    • On June 30, the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance the FY23 Labor-HHS appropriations bill to the full House. The bill includes several significant proposed increases for PAEA’s priority programs over FY22 enacted levels including a:
      • $34 million increase for the National Health Service Corps,
      • $6 million increase for Primary Care Training and Enhancement grants,
      • $3.05 million increase for the Health Careers Opportunity Program,
      • $3 million increase for Area Health Education Centers, and
      • $3 million increase for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students.
    • On July 26, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing entitled, “Fighting Fentanyl: The Federal Response to a Growing Crisis.” During the hearing, Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) stressed the importance of a greater federal response to improve access to substance use disorder treatment for those living in rural and Native American communities, Hispanic communities, Black communities, and other communities of color. 
    • On July 28, the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee released their draft FY23 bill, which provides a $158.1 million increase for Title VII health professions programs over FY22 enacted levels. Specific increases included a:
      • $3.05 million increase for the Health Careers Opportunity Program,
      • $2 million increase for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students,
      • $6 million increase for the Primary Care Training and Enhancement program,
      • $2 million increase for Area Health Education Centers, and 
      • $14 million increase for the National Health Service Corps 
  • Opportunities for Action
    • As the Senate continues working on its FY23 appropriations bills, it is critical that constituents advocate for strengthened health workforce investments to address provider shortages and their impact on the quality of care delivered to all communities. Please urge Congress to support increased funding for all Title VII health workforce development programs for fiscal year 2023 today.
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