Costa Medical Bill Gains Momentum with Key Endorsement from Hispanic Caucus
FRESNO – Congressman Jim Costa’s (CA-16) legislation to help curb the shortfall of physicians in rural communities is gaining momentum for inclusion in the President Biden’s infrastructure package following a full endorsement from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).
The Expanding Medical Education Act would provide $1 billion dollars in funding for medical school construction, expansion and doctor training in underserved communities that lack quality access to quality healthcare. The CHC is urging House leadership to include the bill in negotiations with the White House on a new national infrastructure plan:
‘Access to quality healthcare for underserved communities where there is an acute shortage of doctors, needs immediate attention,” said Rep. Costa. “I thank the CHC for recognizing the need for significant investment in medical schools that will train doctors who want to serve rural communities and for urging leadership to include this bill in the President’s infrastructure package. For 40 years I have supported building a medical school in the Valley, and I will keep fighting until we make it happen.”
Rural communities have long suffered from a lack of quality medical care and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem. In a letter to House leadership, the CHC says rural communities will continue to suffer without immediate action. They also commend Rep. Costa for taking the lead on this issue:
“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is proud to endorse H.R. 801, the Expanding Medical Education Act,” said Chair Dr. Ruiz. “Physician shortages are most pronounced in underserved communities and can negatively impact the long-term health and quality of health care for vulnerable populations. The Expanding Medical Education Act would directly address the needs of underserved and Hispanic communities and alleviate health disparities. I thank Congressman Jim Costa for his leadership in addressing the critical need for more physicians.”
The Expanding Medical Education Act will work to establish medical training programs in areas of high need, with priorities given to educational institutions that focus on diverse and medically deprived communities, such as UCSF-Fresno and UC Merced.
The bill is also endorsed by the following organizations:
- The American Association of Medical Colleges
- California Hospital Association
- The University of California
- University of California, San Francisco
- California Medical Association