Advocacy Brief: House Economic Stimulus Package Includes Provisions to Support Primary Care
The U.S. House of Representatives is considering an $825 billion economic stimulus package that contains $157 billion in health care related provisions. Several provisions support and strengthen the nation's primary care infrastructure, clearly showing that Congress and the incoming Obama administration view primary care as a critical health care component in the nation's overall economic recovery plan.
Specifically, the draft measure provides $600 million to train primary care health professionals, such as primary care physicians, dentists and nurses, while also helping medical students who agree to practice in underserved areas after graduation pay their medical school expenses through the National Health Service Corps.
Other Health Care Provisions
Other provisions in the economic stimulus package related to health care spending include:
- $20 billion for health care information technology
- $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
- $550 million to modernize technology at Indian Health Service hospitals and health care facilities;
- $3 billion to promote preventive care and wellness programs;
- $1.5 billion for renovations and expansions of community health centers;
- $900 million for research into an experimental pandemic flu vaccine and countermeasures for potential chemical and biological attacks.
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