Bob Menéndez Intros Bill to Address Country’s Doctor Shortage
The U.S. will face a shortage of anywhere between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by 2030, according to a study released by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) is aiming to address that with new legislation that he says would increase Medicare-supported doctor training slots by 15,000. “With an older physician workforce, and an aging population overall, the demand for qualified doctors in New Jersey is quickly outpacing supply,” said Menéndez. “We simply have far too few medical school students and physician residents in the training pipeline in order to catch up.” In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act created an arbitrary cap on the number of Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) positions. Menéndez’s bill, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, would increase the number of GME positions nationwide by 3,000 a year for five years. The measure also requires the Comptroller General to conduct a study on strategies for increasing health professional workforce diversity. “If we’re going to meet the future needs of our residents and ensure access to quality health care, we must close the gap by lifting the arbitrary cap–quickly,” Menéndez said. He is joined by Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the bill’s introduction. More here.