S. 1399 would amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize several grant programs that support the education and training of nurses. The legislation would authorize the following amounts annually from 2020 through 2024:
$116 million for the individual student loan repayment program, and
$134 million for advanced education nursing grants, workforce diversity grants, and nurse education, practice, quality, and retention grants.
In 2019, $221 million was appropriated for those programs.
The bill also would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate the nurse loan repayment program and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assess the progress of programs related to enhancing the nursing workforce. On average, the equivalent of about two full-time employees from GAO and one full-time employee from HHS would be required each year over the 2020-2024 period to complete the reports.
Based on historical spending for these programs, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $1,037 million over the 2020-2024 period, assuming appropriation of authorized amounts. The remaining amounts would be spent after 2024.
The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 550 (health).