Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) supports a bill to help infectious disease clinicians and health care workers pay off student loans.
“We have to help remove the financial barrier and make these jobs accessible to everyone.” Gillibrand said that at a press conference last week.
The Bolstering Infectious Outbreak Preparedness Workforce Act would authorize $ 50 million for the student loan repayment program.
People working with infectious diseases and bio-preventive care – such as doctors, clinical pharmacists, medical assistants and nurses in advanced practice – could receive up to $ 50,000 for each year of service.
People could use the program to pay off loans worth up to $ 150,000.
Gillibrand used the background of the COVID-19 pandemic to address the bill. “Our doctors and medical professionals are understandably burning out” She said that one in five American medical professionals has left their jobs since the pandemic began.
“This creates a vicious circle that burdens the employees” especially the infectious disease staff, she continued. “We need these workers and their know-how.”
The bill is sponsored by Gillibrand and Democratic Senators Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, Jacky Rosen from Nevada and Ben Cardin from Maryland, and Republican Senators Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska.
Gillibrand said the bill was approved by the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association.