Obama Budget to Seek Increased Health-Care Training Funds

President Barack Obama will propose a $14.6 billion expansion of health-care and medical-training programs in the fiscal 2015 budget he’s releasing next week, the administration said in a statement.

The spending is meant to “improve delivery of health-care services, particularly primary care” from inner cities to rural areas and finance specialty training for doctors and other health-care givers in underserved areas, the administration said.

The president is proposing to spend $5.23 billion over 10 years for a new program to support training 13,000 physicians who would be assigned to serve in high-need areas.

Obama also will ask Congress to approve $3.95 billion over six years to expand the National Health Service Corps to 15,000 providers from fewer than 8,900 now. The corps provides scholarship and loan repayments in exchange for a promise to serve for a fixed period in urban, rural and “frontier” regions where there’s a shortage of medical personnel.

Another $5.44 billion is being sought to extend increased payments for one year to encourage primary care providers to serve or keep treating Medicaid patients during the program’s expansion. Medicaid is the health-care program for low-income people. Higher payment rates would also apply to physician assistants and nurse practitioners, according to the statement.

The budget request was first reported by USA Today.

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