Calif. Congress Member Fighting Bill To Reduce Doctor Training Funds
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) is speaking out against a bill (HR 1216) that he says would threaten federal funding to train new physicians in the San Joaquin Valley and other medically underserved regions, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
During a speech in the House, Cardoza said research shows that the U.S. is facing a growing shortage of health care professionals.
He noted that HHS has designated all eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley region as "medically underserved." According to Cardoza, the region has fewer than 87 primary care physicians for every 100,000 residents.
Funding at Risk
Cardoza said the Valley Consortium for Medical Education in Modesto recently received $625,000 in federal funding toÂ train primary care medical and dental residents.
Although the consortium is eligible for up to five years of funding through the federal health reform law, HR 1216 could jeopardize those funds, Cardoza said.
He added that a lack of investment to train new physicians "will most certainly have a costly price on the health and well-being of many rural underserved communities."
Action on the Measure
To draw attention to the potential effects of HR 1216, Cardoza proposed an amendment that would require a study on how the legislation would affect the number of physicians that undergo training through the programÂ (Merced Sun-Star, 5/24).
On Tuesday, House members voted against the amendment in a nearly party-line vote, with Republicans rejecting the proposal.
The House is expected to take up HR 1216 again on Wednesday (Kasperowicz, "Floor Action Blog," The Hill, 5/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.