WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) helped introduce a bipartisan bill that will address the shortage of more than 120,000 primary care and specialty physicians the nation is expected to face by 2030.
Boozman joined as the lead Republican sponsor of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, authored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The bill would ease the arbitrary cap on the number of Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) positions imposed by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
“Lifting this antiquated cap on training slots for medical school graduates is a perfect example of a small reform that can make a big difference. The number of available physicians per population in the Natural State is among the lowest in the nation and providers of all specialties are facing a serious shortfall, especially in Arkansas’s rural communities. This commonsense bill is a small step toward a system that ensures access to affordable, quality care for every American,” Boozman said.
The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act seeks to gradually lift the caps on Medicare-supported doctor training slots by 3,000 per year over five years creating 15,000 new residency training slots across the country.
“It is no secret that significant reform needs to be brought to our health care system. However, there are some reasonable, simple steps we can take to increase access to quality medical services in Arkansas while we work toward the larger goal. This bill I helped introduce with Senator Menendez is a perfect place to start,” Boozman said.
The bill prioritizes states with new medical schools, hospitals that partner with VA medical centers and hospitals that focus on community-based training for the increases.