By: Anne Morris and Shana McClendon
As you know, we have been following the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program since it was established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and most recently have been tracking legislation that would rescind the unobligated portion of the $230 million in total mandatory funding for THCGME for FY2011-FY2015 and instead convert the program to an authorization of appropriations. (For last week’s blog on this bill, click here). The bill, H.R. 1216, is sponsored by Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and it was considered and advanced by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Last week, H.R. 1216 was taken up in the House of Representatives and – as expected – passed. The vote on final passage was 234 to 185. For the most part, Representatives voted along party lines except for the three Democrats who voted in favor of the bill (Rep. Boren, Rep. Rangel, and Rep. McIntyre) and the four Republicans who voted against the bill (Rep. Barletta, Rep. Hanna, Rep. Meehan and Rep. King [IA]). There were also 12 Representatives (4 Republicans and 8 Democrats) that did not vote. The House also adopted an amendment to the underlying legislation that would prohibit the use of funds from being used to provide abortions or training in the provision of abortion (with certain exceptions).
H.R. 1216 is not expected to be brought up in the Senate as a standalone measure.
NACHC opposes H.R. 1216 because it would eliminate dedicated funding to support primary care residency training at health centers and other community-based entities at a time where sustained investment in our primary care workforce is needed.