Rep. Jimmy Panetta Introduces Health Care Training Legislation

June 30, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, introduced a bill to improve the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program.  This innovative program educates and trains low-income people for in-demand, well-paying careers in the health care field. 

“I hear from doctors, hospitals, and other health centers all the time about their struggles to find employees with the training and expertise to provide high-quality care,” said Congressman Panetta.  “Meanwhile, many Americans are trying hard to find jobs that pay enough to support their families and get ahead.  My bill matches those needs, setting training requirements that will ensure program participants receive quality credentials.  By passing the Health CARE Training Act, we can unlock the potential for economic mobility and help workers across the country lift up their families and communities, especially on the Central Coast of California.”

The Health CARE Training Act makes two critical improvements to the HPOG program.  It requires that training hours meet state and industry standards, ensuring participants receive valuable credentials they can use to get jobs, generate wealth for their families, and go on to earn additional credentials in the future.  It also excludes any assistance participants receive from income tax, helping them to make ends meet and allowing them the flexibility to successfully complete their programs.

Congress created HPOGs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.  Under the program, the Federal government makes grants to entities like states, colleges and universities, tribal organizations, workforce agencies, and community foundations.   HPOG participants enroll in training and education programs that result in an employer- or industry-recognized certificate or degree.  Participants are overwhelmingly single mothers of color with a high school education.  Congressman Panetta is working with his colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee to pass this bill and reauthorize and expand this critically important program.

The bill text can be viewed here.