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Babin, Houlahan Ease Heavy Burden on America’s Health Care Providers

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36) and U.S. Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) issued the following statement on the introduction of the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act (REDI Act) to address the growing doctor shortage, help make medical education more affordable, and boost health care outcomes in Southeast Texas and across the nation.

“As a dentist, I know firsthand how expensive graduate school is, as well as how burdensome hefty student loans are when you’re working to become a health care professional,” said Rep. Babin. “By the time many medical and dental school students finish their required training, ballooning interest payments too often prevent them from further specializing in practices like radiology or serving in rural areas far from large hospitals. This bill will help remove those barriers, bringing quality doctors and dentists to patients in my district and underserved areas across America.”

“During this pandemic, we were painfully reminded just how vital our medical professionals are,” said Rep. Houlahan. “We need to be doing everything in our power to break down barriers preventing people from entering these lifesaving fields. Most young doctors and dentists finish their residencies carrying crippling student debt, often preventing them from pursuing more specialized fields or providing medical services in rural and remote locations. Our bipartisan legislation will begin the overdue process of eliminating such economic barriers and support young medical professionals serving across the country, building a more equitable and fair health care system.”

“Physicians and dentists accumulate significant student debt during post-graduate education and must then undertake several years of residency with very low pay, making it difficult to begin repaying their student debt right away,” said B.D. Tiner, DDS, MD, FACS, of San Antonio, Texas, and president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. “Interest accrual relief during residency – as provided for in the REDI Act – will prevent students from being punished during their residency with higher debt balances and will make the options of serving in underserved areas or faculty and research positions more attrac