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Advocacy Brief: Health Provisions in the Stimulus Package

The President signed the $787 billion economic recovery package on February 17, 2009. It included what many consider a “down payment” on health reform. A significant chunk of the package -- some $87 billion -- would go toward helping states fund their Medicaid programs. Another $10 billion goes to the National Institutes of Health and $700 million goes to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The package also includes funding to provide incentives to promote the use of electronic health record technology (EHRs).

Of particular interest to medical students and residents is the $500 million in funding that has been allocated to go toward health professions training programs through scholarships, loan repayment, and grants to training programs for equipment, considered a vital component in the quest to expand the nation's pool of primary-care physicians. Specifically, $300 million is allocated for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and $200 million is to be allocated to "all the disciplines trained through the primary care medicine and dentistry program, the public health and preventive medicine program, the scholarship and loan repayment program, the scholarship and loan repayment programs authorized in Title VII (Health Professions) and Title VIII (Nurse Training) of the PHS Act.

For the latest on the College’s advocacy efforts and what is going on in Washington, check out Bob Doherty’s Advocacy blog.

Back to February 2009 Issue of IMpact

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