UPDATE: COVID-19 Stimulus Signed into Law, Bringing Momentum for Economy & Important Bright Spot for Geriatrics
New York (March 27, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today commended Congress and President Trump for supporting critical efforts to expand geriatrics expertise through the more than $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package (S. 3548).
“Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, and all our geriatrics experts are vital—not just to the U.S. economy but also to our health, safety, and independence, which make our economy what it is,” noted AGS CEO Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA. “As we continue to review the stimulus in detail, we applaud Senators Bob Casey and Susan Collins, as well as Representatives Michael Burgess and Jan Schakowsky, who were instrumental in helping prioritize long-term solutions serving older adults in this rapid response to COVID-19.”
The proposals included in the COVID-19 package incorporate language from the earlier proposed Title VII Health Care Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S. 2997) in the Senate and Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness (EMPOWER) for Health Act of 2019 (H.R. 2781) in the House. While AGS experts remain pleased to see the GWEPs and GACAs reauthorized, they did express concern that the final authorizing level of $40.7 million could compromise the future success of both programs. The AGS continues to advocate for increased funding totaling $51 million, which would do much to close the current geographic and demographic gaps in geriatrics workforce training.