Chief Communications Officer
American Medical Student Association
AMSA Statement on CHAMPION Act: We Cannot Trade Public Health and Prevention to Save Other Programs
STERLING, Virginia—November 1, 2017 – Today the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) sent a letter to the offices of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi regarding H.R. 3922, “Community Health And Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation Act of 2017,” also known as the CHAMPION Act.
The Act seeks to reauthorize funding for a number of high priority programs, including extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for another five years. The program’s funding ran out at the end of September, leaving nearly 9 million children and families in coverage limbo without a final decision. The bill also seeks to reauthorize vital health care workforce programs, such as the National Health Services Corps, which helps to provide primary care in underserved areas across the country. It also reauthorizes Teaching Health Centers for Graduate Medical Education, which was an innovative solution created under the Affordable Care Act to establish new primary care residency programs in primarily community-based, ambulatory settings in underserved areas.
Nonetheless, the bill seeks to offset the funding of these programs by reducing the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) by nearly 75%. The PPHF provides a significant portion of the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for programs targeting preventative health, like immunizations and stroke and heart attack prevention, as well as funds programs in many other Health and Human Services agencies, like the Administration for Community Living and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
AMSA recognizes the increasing burden of chronic disease on our health care delivery system has overwhelmed and compromised our nation’s ability to deliver the highest quality of care. To that end, we cannot ignore the savings of preventative health practices. We must continue to strengthen the public health and primary care infrastructure by ensuring that proven models of chronic disease prevention and management are adequately supported.
About the American Medical Student Association:
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online.