Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT announced new legislation to address the U.S.’s health care workforce shortage.
“The Addressing the Shortage of Doctors Act,” would boost funding for the National Health Service Corps by $1 billion a year for 10 years; permanently authorize the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program – only authorized for another three years – authorize 14,000 Medicare-supported medical residency positions over seven years and create criteria for how the Graduate Medical Education training positions would be allocated at hospitals with a minimum of 50% of new slots going to primary care.
The bill would require that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services distribute a minimum of 25% of slots to both rural-area hospitals and hospitals that serve areas designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, by 2033, the nation will have a shortage of up to 139,000 physicians. The shortage was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.