Reps. Lee and Watkins To Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Aimed At Boosting Physician Workforce in Underserved Areas

June 6, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Steve Watkins (KS-02) and Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03) introduced H.R. 3150, the Rural and Underserved Residencies to Attract Long-term (RURAL) Physicians Act. This legislation is aimed at attracting medical professionals to areas in need of a more robust physician workforce. The RURAL Physicians Act would allow student loan borrowers to qualify for interest-free deferment throughout serving in a medical or dental internship or residency if the internship or residency is served in a rural, medically underserved or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) medical facility.

Congresswoman Susie Lee issued the following statement:

“The doctor shortage in southern Nevada is nearing crisis levels, which means longer wait times, fewer choices, and less access to quality health care. The size of Nevada’s physician workforce ranks near-last in this country, making even urban areas greatly underserved. To solve this crisis, underserved communities like Las Vegas need doctors to not only work and grow their careers here, but also stay here after getting a quality education from one of our universities. That’s why Rep. Watkins and I teamed up to introduce the bipartisan RURAL Physicians Act, which does exactly that by making it easier for doctors in underserved communities to access loan forgiveness during their residency."

Congressman Steve Watkins issued the following statement:

"Kansans in rural communities are struggling to access quality healthcare, a problem exacerbated by a shrinking nationwide physician workforce. The negative trend of access to care and physician workforce hits rural, underserved, and veteran communities the hardest. This legislation is designed to provide student loan relief to attract physicians to the areas that need it the most. I am proud to be introducing this bipartisan legislation and look forward to its swift passage."