Bill Would Expand Student Loan Forgiveness for Texas Physicians
By David Doolittle

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The Texas Medical Association and California Medical Association applauded a bipartisan group of U.S. senators for introducing a bill that addresses physician shortages and improves access to care, particularly in children’s hospitals and nonprofit hospitals.

In a statement, the associations thanked the senators, including John Cornyn of Texas, for introducing legislation that ensures physicians who work in non-profit community hospitals in those states can obtain the same education loan forgiveness as physicians in the other 48 states.

The “Stopping Doctor Shortages Act” would clarify the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which excluded many Texas and California physicians because of state laws prohibiting hospitals from directly employing doctors.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we need physicians more than ever to provide critical care to patients on the front lines,” the statement said. “This legislation helps doctors continue to serve where they are needed the most.”

The public service program forgives federal student loans for borrowers who work at least 10 years in the public sector, if they make 120 qualifying monthly payments.

The Senate bill, introduced this week as a companion to a bill in the U.S. House, clarifies that physicians in states that prohibit nonprofit and public hospitals from directly employing them are still eligible for loan forgiveness.

“Texas’ doctors are what make our medical facilities some of the best in the world, but due to an oversight at the Department of Education, they are not eligible for the same loan forgiveness program as their peers in other states,” Senator Cornyn said in a statement. “This legislation would fix this error and ensure doctors practicing at nonprofit hospitals or organizations in Texas are afforded the same opportunity to reduce their debt as those working elsewhere.”

Last Updated On

May 21, 2020

David Doolittle

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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