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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published February 12, 2020

President’s FY 2021 Budget Released: Cuts to Nursing Workforce, Education, and Research

On February 10, President Trump released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget, A Budget for America's Future, which included significant cuts to essential healthcare and higher education programs, such as:

  • Elimination of all Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, except the NURSE Corps;
  • Reduction of $5.5 million to NURSE Corps funding for a total of $83.135 million;
  • Nearly $3 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health;
  • Reduction in the National Institute of Nursing Research budget for a total of $156.804 million in funding;
  • $5.6 billion cut to the Department of Education;
  • Elimination of the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program; and
  • Elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Despite these suggested cuts, AACN was encouraged to see that support for the National Health Service Corps was sustained and that funding to fight the opioid epidemic was expanded.

As the appropriations and budgetary process continues, AACN remains committed to working with Congress to ensure a final budget provides appropriate funding for nursing workforce, research, and education programs in FY 2021 and beyond.  Click here to read the full AACN statement on the release of the President’s FY 2021 Budget.

AACN Presents Faculty Shortage Data at NACNEP Meeting

On February 4, the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) held a meeting at the Health Resources and Services Administration. The NACNEP reviewed recent literature and heard from expert speakers on the topic of its 17th Report to Congress, Preparing Nurse Faculty, and Addressing the Shortage of Nurse Faculty and Clinical Preceptors. AACN’s Director of Institutional Research and Data Services, Dr. Di Fang, presented on the nursing faculty shortage in baccalaureate and graduate programs. AACN’s data shows the nursing faculty shortage has worsened for PhD faculty because of a decrease in enrollment in research-focused doctoral programs and the growing number of retirees of current PhD faculty. The data also reveals that financial and mentor support are the most important contributing factors for completing PhD education.

View the recording of this NACNEP meeting here:

ACS Congressional Briefing Examines Medicaid Expansion

On February 6, AACN staff attended a congressional briefing hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) on Medicaid and its role in helping families stay healthy. The briefing involved personal stories and background information on the positive impact Medicaid has on beneficiaries. The panelists, Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and several private stakeholders, had the opportunity to describe their work and experience with Medicaid. In particular, Congressman Butterfield, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, talked about his legislative efforts to expand Medicaid, particularly to young single adults with low income who cannot afford health care because they do not qualify for Medicaid under the current requirements.

ACS CAN also announced their recent documentary, Left Behind: Health and Hope in North Carolina, which follows three families that do not qualify for Medicaid, yet do not make enough money to benefit from subsidies to purchase insurance, posing a challenge to accessing health care. To watch the documentary, click here.

BPC Future of Health Care Leaders Prescribe Health Care Reform

On February 5, AACN staff attended a Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) event that highlighted their recent report, Bipartisan Rx for America’s Health Care. The panel consisted of the BPC’s Future of Health Care leaders, former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Bill Frist (R-TN), as well as former Medicare and Medicaid Administrators Andy Slavitt and Gail Wilensky, former Director of Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Cindy Mann, and various fellows at BPC. Together, panelists presented their recommendations to improve the nation’s health care system and make coverage more accessible, sustainable, and affordable. This included targeting anti-competitive behavior and excessive billing practices. Specifically, panelists highlighted inconsistencies in prices for the same service depending on where the patient lives and from whom the care is delivered. Watch video of the event here.

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