Rosen Asked About Her Forthcoming Bipartisan Legislation to Address Doctor Shortage By Lowering Barriers for Health Care Professionals
All 17 Counties in Nevada are Designated as “Health Professional Shortage Areas”
Watch/Download Video of Senator Rosen’s Remarks HERE
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), questioned Dr. Margaret Flinter in a HELP subcommittee hearing about solutions to address Nevada’s doctor shortage. Dr. Flinter, who founded the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium, praised the Senator’s forthcoming bipartisan legislation to provide medical and dental residents interest free student loan deferment while serving in residency positions. Rosen plans to introduce this bipartisan proposal with Senator John Boozman (R-AR) to help address the national health care provider shortage. Nevada currently ranks 48th in the nation when it comes to primary care physicians per capita, and all 17 counties in the state are designated as “Health Professional Shortage Areas.”
BELOW IS A TRANSCRIPT OF SENATOR ROSEN’S EXCHANGE WITH THE WITNESS:
ROSEN: I’m working on bipartisan legislation with Senator Boozman that would allow medical and dental residents interest free deferment on their student loans while serving in medical or dental internship or residency programs. And so, Dr. Flinter, as someone who founded America’s first nurse practitioner residency program, how could pausing student loan interest accruing during residency help provide flexibility for providers who opt to serve patients in rural and underserved areas? And what other incentives do you think the federal government should be looking at to make it easier for us to get really good quality health care, [which] we need all across this nation?
FLINTER: Well, thank you for that question, and I will tell you that facing that mountain of debt as you’re coming into your residency program, those mandatory payments, is a daunting challenge for providers who are still in their training phase. I think what you’ve proposed, Senator Rosen, pausing student loan interest accrual during residency is what I would call a very pragmatic, reasonable thing that probably makes a big difference for people. I think the issue is that debt influences people’s choice of where they’re going to practice. You have used the example of the state of Nevada, so I think that’s a very pragmatic and useful idea.