By Pamela Murphy, MSW, AACOM Senior Vice President of Government Relations
On January 3, Members of the 116th Congress were sworn in. With the commencement of the new legislative session, AACOM introduced its Public Policy Agenda, which outlines key federal advocacy priorities the association will focus on to ensure that osteopathic medical education continues to be an active force in the formulation of national health and higher education policies.
AACOM urges the new Congress to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) and maintain and protect critical programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Grad PLUS Loans, which medical students and other health professions students rely on to afford their education and training.
For the first time in eight years, Democrats regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives. With this transition, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) has become Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor (formerly called the Committee on Education and the Workforce) and has stated his intent to reauthorize the HEA, as has his counterpart in the Senate, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
With education committee leadership in both chambers committed to taking up the HEA, AACOM will be calling on its ED to MED advocates to urge their Members of Congress to support graduate education policies. We must educate and inform Congress about graduate student debt and its impact on the nation’s health care workforce.
To learn more about AACOM’s Public Policy Agenda and hear an overview of the congressional priorities the legislative branch hopes to achieve, register for a webinar with AACOM’s Office of Government Relations on Friday, February 15, at 3:00 PM ET.