Bera, Gabbard among congressmen in attendance.
By Global India Newswire
WASHINGTON, DC: The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) hosted a Legislative Day on Capitol Hill Thursday to address pressing issues affecting its physician-based constituency.
Notable congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle were in attendance including Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Ami Bera (D-CA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
The all-day event pursued an aggressive agenda that included emphasis on AAPI’s four main legislative priorities: physician shortage, immigration reform, reforming and improving the sustainability of Medicare, and medical liability reform.
Immigration reform, which has been a particularly salient issue in Washington over the past week with the Rally for Citizenship and the Congress trying to reach a bipartisan agreement, is at the top of the agenda. Similar to visa issues faced by tech companies who hire from abroad, physicians have also withstood long waits for Green Cards.
Additionally, AAPI recommended legislation similar to the “Doctors for Underserved Areas in America Act” that was previously introduced by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). As it stands now, a J-1 visa allows international medical students to perform their residency and training in the United States. After the completion of residency and training, these student are required to go back to their country for 2 years before being eligible to reenter the United States.
AAPI is pushing for legislation that would make the J-1 Visa Waiver Program permanent. Essentially, the waivers will allow students to forego the two years away from the United States if they agree to work in medically underserved areas for three years.
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