March 20, 2019
ASA Endorses Bill to Provide Loan Relief to Residents
On March 6, 2019, Representative Brian Babin, D.D.S. (R-TX) and colleagues, introduced H.R. 1554 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would “amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for interest-free deferment on student loans for borrowers serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program.” Rep. Babin introduced the bill with Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), physician anesthesiologist and strong supporter of ASA, as well as Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Steve Stivers (R-OH).
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), along with many other medical specialty societies, sent a formal communication to Representative Babin, in strong support of H.R. 1554. If passed, this bill will allow medical and dental student borrowers to qualify for interest-free deferment on their loans while interning or in residency .
Additional cosponsors of H.R. 1554 also include Reps. Eleanor Homes Norton (D-DC), Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN).
An important part of student loan repayment reform, H.R. 1554 would save those in residency thousands of dollars in interest. Interest accrual relief during residency would also make opening practices in underserved communities and entering faculty or research more appealing. ASA thanks Rep. Babin and the cosponsors of H.R. 1554 for introducing this bill and recognizing the importance of student loan repayment reform.
ASA will continue to monitor this legislation.