DearColleague.us

Letter

Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) reauthorized funding for numerous
existing discretionary grant programs and other activities. ACA also created multiple new
discretionary grant programs and provided for each an authorization of appropriations. Funding
for all these discretionary programs is subject to action by congressional appropriators. This
report summarizes all the discretionary spending provisions in ACA. A companion product, CRS
Report R41301, Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act (ACA), summarizes all the mandatory appropriations in the law.

Among the provisions that are intended to strengthen the nation’s health care safety net and
improve access to care, ACA permanently reauthorized the federal health centers program and the
National Health Service Corps (NHSC). The NHSC provides scholarships and student loan
repayments to individuals who agree to a period of service as a primary care provider in a
federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area. In addition, ACA addressed concerns
about the current size, specialty mix, and geographic distribution of the health care workforce. It
reauthorized and expanded existing health workforce education and training programs under
Titles VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). Title VII supports the education and
training of physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and public health workers through grants,
scholarships, and loan repayment. ACA created several new programs to increase training
experiences in primary care, in rural areas, and in community-based settings, and provided
training opportunities to increase the supply of pediatric subspecialists and geriatricians. It also
expanded the nursing workforce development programs authorized under PHSA Title VIII.

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