WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Apr 11, 2013) - The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) President and CEO, Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, today issued the following statement on the release of the President's fiscal year 2014 budget.
AACOM has serious concerns with the proposed $11 billion cuts in the President's fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget to Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME), which will exacerbate the existing physician workforce shortage over the next 10 years, and will also reduce patient access to care across the country.
There is much to applaud in the current congressional discussions aimed at controlling spending and bringing the nation's deficit under control. AACOM understands the daunting economic situation our nation faces and the need to make hard choices to return our country to secure fiscal well-being. While these important economic concerns must be addressed, it is critical that cost-effective programs be maintained.
Medicare provides the principal funding for the training of medical residents, and the current two percent reduction in Medicare mandated by sequestration has already begun to have an adverse impact on hospitals with teaching programs for medical residents and on the patients who rely on them for care. Because osteopathic medical schools are deeply committed to training future physicians to provide quality health care for the U.S. population, including in many underserved and rural communities, the ultimate impact of the cuts proposed in the President's budget will be to reduce patient access to care and increase health care costs for vulnerable populations.
AACOM is resolved to working with the Administration and with Congress throughout the appropriations process to ensure that the FY 2014 federal budget strengthens and continues to invest in GME and other programs of priority to osteopathic medical education and the larger health care system.
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the nation's 29 colleges of osteopathic medicine at 37 locations in 28 states. Today, more than 21,000 students are enrolled in osteopathic medical schools. One in five U.S. medical students is training to become an osteopathic physician.
AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOM's mission is to promote excellence in osteopathic medical education, in research and in service, and to foster innovation and quality among osteopathic medical colleges to improve the health of the American public.