Health Care Workforce

Timely access to quality care requires a dedicated and well-trained workforce.  As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am working hard to ensure that we meet that goal. 

I believe that the first step is to provide education and training, including expansion of the National Health Service Corps, Graduate Medical Education funding, grants and loan assistance.  Second, we need to make sure that every medical professional is allowed to practice – and be reimbursed – for the services they are licensed to provide.  Third, we need to provide adequate payments.  For example, I am working hard to replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate payment formula with a permanent solution that more adequately compensates doctors and on initiatives to increase payments to primary care providers.  Finally we need to make sure that we require safe staffing standards to protect patient safety and retain nurses and other health care professionals. 

The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, includes improvements in all of these areas – including provisions to expand the geriatric workforce and support direct care workers -- provisions that I offered.

Legislation I've Introduced

Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient and Quality Care Act – The Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act: According to the Institute of Medicine, up to 98,000 hospital patients die each year from preventable problems, many of which could be avoided with safe staffing levels. Further, the Joint Commission found that nurse-staffing shortages are a factor in one out of every four unexpected hospital deaths or injuries caused by errors. The Nurse Staffing bill would establish new minimum federal safety standards – including nurse-to-patient ratios – and require that hospitals work with direct care nurses to develop facility-specific staffing plans. It would also provide whistleblower protections for nurses who speak out to protect their patients' health and safety.

More on Health Care Workforce

April 24, 2020 Press Release

EVANSTON – Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, and U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced bicameral legislation to provide a historic investment in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs to cover the graduate education costs of approximately 300,000 clinicians in order to help address existing health workforce shortages throughout our health care system.

April 23, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, today spoke on the House Floor in support of, and voted to pass, H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. She also voted to create a Select Subcommittee on Oversight of the Coronavirus Crisis. She issued the following statement after passage of the legislation today:

March 31, 2020 Press Release

EVANSTON, IL – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced today that language from her legislation, H.R. 2150, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019, was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020 as part of H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The legislation was originally introduced on April 9, 2019, with original cosponsors Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Susan Wild (D-PA), and David Joyce (R-OH).

March 30, 2020 Press Release

EVANSTON, IL – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, and Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26), Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee, announced today that the provisions of their legislation H.R. 2781, the Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness (EMPOWER) for Health Act of 2019, was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020 as part of H.R.

March 27, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded the passage of the Bipartisan Families & Workers-First Coronavirus stimulus package. This is third package of legislation in as many weeks designed to address the current pandemic striking the nation and the world, providing resources and relief to our health care workers and facilities, and to the working people of our country.

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