On June 30, SCAI joined a coalition of health care organizations in commending Representative Brian Babin, DDS (R-Texas-36), and Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.-06) for reintroducing the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act (REDI Act). The bill would allow borrowers to qualify for interest-free deferment on their student loans while serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program. SCAI believes the REDI Act will help to address interventional cardiologist workforce needs by making medical education more affordable and boost patient outcomes nationwide.
The letter emphasizes that the cost of graduate-level medical education is substantial for physicians in training, including interventional cardiologists. Physicians in residency receive very low compensation and are often unable to begin repaying student loan debt immediately. Although these residents often qualify to have their payments halted during residency through deferment or forbearance processes, the loans continue to accrue interest that accumulates to the overall loan balance.
The enactment of the REDI Act is an important part of student loan repayment reform. This bill would prevent medical and dental residents from being penalized during residency. It would save interventional cardiologists thousands of dollars in interest payments. Providing interest accrual relief during residency also would make the concepts of opening practices in underserved areas or entering faculty or research more attractive and affordable to residents.
SCAI will continue to monitor developments pertaining to this legislation.
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