First district Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is introducing legislation to revive a program designed to help new doctors pay their bills and get them to practice in areas where there are shortages. Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says the legislation has two components.
The first component is a scholarship program that pays for tuition, a monthly stipend and books for a full-time medical student. For every year the student participates, they’re required to spend one year practicing in an underserved area that’s in need of additional medical service.
The second component of the law is a loan forgiveness program. Braley says the program would award up to $25,000 a year toward the participants loans for their education as long as they participate in the program. Braley says there are doctor shortages across the state — including his home are in northeast Iowa.
He says the first district has 47 underserved areas, with areas in each of the 12 counties in the district. Braley says the program expired at the end of the 2006 fiscal year and was not renewed.