Sarbanes Highlights Legislative Solutions to Address Healthcare Worker Shortage [VIDEO]

October 26, 2021
CONTACT: Natalie Young | |
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Subcommittee on Health Vice Chair John Sarbanes (D-Md.) highlighted the serious consequences of physician shortages and the need for legislation to support a strong, well-trained health care workforce, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

In the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee hearing entitled “Caring for America: Legislation to Support Patients, Caregivers and Providers,” the Congressman asked witnesses about the importance of a national response to address the ongoing health care worker shortage and meet the needs of underserved communities. He also spoke about his work on the National Health Care Workforce Commission and his intention to re-introduce the Primary Care Physician Reentry Act in the 117th Congress.

“We know that a well-trained workforce is absolutely critical to supporting high-quality health care delivery and every other dimension of our health care system,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “These issues have obviously become only more important over the past year and a half during the pandemic – it has added some pressure, it has laid bare and given transparency to pressures and challenges that were already there, of course. We’ve heard a lot of important testimony today about particularly the toll that the pandemic has taken on our health care system and our health care heroes as we’ve come to call them. We’ve got to make sure that we put more than just phrases behind their efforts – that we put real support and resources behind them as well.”

Congressman Sarbanes continued, “I was able to work into the Affordable Care Act the establishment of a National Health Care Workforce Commission. We’re still working on getting the funding in place to support that, but the idea was to evaluate these workforce needs across the country and then be a resource for us as policymakers in Congress in making some decisions about how to address the shortages.”

Finally, he said, “I’ve got a bill I’ve been working on for years called the Primary Care Physician Reentry Act, which is to get retired physicians to come back into the practice of medicine to help us with these workforce needs.”

See below for a video of the Congressman’s full remarks.