DearColleague.us

Letter

From the office of:

Josh Harder

Sending Office: Honorable Josh Harder
Sent By:
Simon.Korn@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

DEADLINE TODAY

Support Bipartisan Fix for California and Texas Physicians

Join Reps. Harder, Castro, and Cook in asking House and Senate leadership to include the bipartisan Stopping Doctor Shortages Act, which gives parity to California and Texas doctors in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, in
the next Coronavirus relief package.

Current Signers: Allred, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Castro, Chu, Cisneros,
Cook, Correa, Costa, Cox, Escobar, Eshoo, Garamendi, Gohmert, Gomez, Huffman,
Hurd, Jackson Lee, Khanna, Lee, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Peters, Porter, Rouda, Roybal-Allard, Sanchez, Schiff, Swalwell, M. Thompson, Vargas, Veasey

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in sending a letter to leadership asking them to include a
bipartisan technical fix
in the next Coronavirus relief package that would make California and Texas doctors who work in rural and underserved hospitals eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

The PSLF program is supposed to incentivize, among other things, healthcare professionals working in rural and underserved areas, but a regulatory error rendered California and Texas doctors working at private, nonprofit community hospitals ineligible. That
means we’re steering doctors in those states away from the places where they can alleviate physician shortages and do the most good, and we’re doing it at exactly the wrong time.

We need to do everything we can to stop doctor shortages in rural and underserved areas, and we need to do everything we can to support the healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic. The
Stopping Doctor Shortages Act (H.R. 4607) makes a technical fix and brings PSLF parity to doctors in California and Texas.

The full text of the letter is below. If you would like to sign on, if you have questions, or if you’d like to cosponsor the Stopping Doctor Shortages Act, please contact Simon Korn in Rep. Harder’s office at
Simon.Korn@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Josh Harder

Member of Congress

Joaquin Castro

Member of Congress

Paul Cook

Member of Congress

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer,

Thank you for your continued leadership in the face of the Coronavirus crisis. We write today to request that you include the bipartisan Stopping Doctor Shortages Act (H.R. 4607), in any upcoming COVID-19 relief package.

The bill fixes a disparity in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program for physicians in California and Texas who treat patients in private, nonprofit community hospitals. In 2008, a Department of Education regulation requiring that physicians
be directly employed by the nonprofit institution for which they work clashed with California and Texas state laws that prohibit the employment of physicians by private, non-physician, corporate entities. As a result, the regulation unintentionally excluded
these physicians from the program. The error steers young medical professionals away from service in rural and underserved areas of both of our states – now, more than ever when we need doctors and nurses to treat patients exposed to COVID-19, this is simply
unacceptable.

Physician shortages in California and Texas are already dire. California faces a projected shortage of 4100 primary care physicians over the next decade,  and 33 counties in Texas have no doctor.  At this moment, our country’s medical professionals are
taking on the toughest, most dangerous challenge they will face in their entire career. Their jobs are made harder by rural and underserved systems that are already overburdened and understaffed. Now is the time to use every tool at our disposal to close the
gaps and end physician shortages.

Our frontline medical professionals are giving everything they have to protect Americans from COVID-19.  They’re working long hours in dangerous conditions, often with limited personal protective equipment and no expectation that they’ll be able to stop
soon. They know have a job to do – as long as there are patients to care for, they won’t leave the job half-finished. It’s time Congress afforded them the same courtesy.

This program is already in dire straits – less than one percent of applicants have actually made it through enough bureaucratic red tape to receive PSLF. In exchange for a career of public service, we’re saddling young Americans with a lifetime of unexpected
student debt. We can cut through one ribbon of that red tape right now and extend a lifeline to the heroes who are putting their lives on the line for us.

Given the urgent need for medical professionals in rural and underserved areas across the country, we urge you to include the Stopping Doctor Shortages Act in the next COVID-19 relief package. There is no reason that California and Texas should be singled
out to be excluded from this program, and there is no reason that we should have to wait any longer for parity in this time of crisis. Thank you again for your leadership in the first three stages of Congress’s response to COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Budget, Consumer Affairs, Economy, Education, Family Issues, Finance, Government, HealthCare, Judiciary, Labor, Science

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 4607
Special Note:

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