"Healthy or Ailing? Immigration for Doctors and Healthcare Workers"
with Bill Stock
Part 2 held on May 24, 2002
Cites from Greg Siskind:
* Visalaw Healthcare Information Center
Note from Jan Pederson
The House and Senate Supplemental ’02 Appropriations Bill will likely come to a vote during the week of May 21, 2000. Make your views known now.
POINTS TO MAKE:
*USDA closed its valuable J-1 Physician Waiver Program on February 28, 2002, leaving many rural Americans without access to health care. As a result, The White House has formed a working group to discuss alternatives to the USDA program for placing J-1 Physicians in medically underserved areas. However, while the group is working on its plan, a catastrophe in the delivery of physician care exist.
*We support a alternative which is a real possibility and that is increasing the State 20 J-1 Physician Waiver program from 20 waivers per state per year to 40 waivers per state per year. At present, each state department of health is limited to issuing 20 waivers per year for physicians to work in medically underserved areas. With the closure of the USDA program, many states need far more than 20 numbers per year to satisfy the need for provision of health to poor rural Americans.
*We request you support the increase in the State 20 to at least 40 waivers per year and extend the J-1 program beyond its current expiration of June 30, 2002.
*Congressman Jerry Moran from Kansas and Senator Sam Brownback are considering the sponsorship of this legislation as an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Bill.
_______________________________________________________________ SAMPLE LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
Dear _________[Congressman and Senator]:
As a health care provider participating in the J-1 Physician waiver program, we are very concerned that the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will no longer sponsor international medical graduates to practice in rural communities.
Many rural communities would be without access to primary care if not for a physician with a J-1 Visa waiver. Recruiting and retaining physicians in rural areas remains a struggle, and the supply of primary care providers in rural areas is steadily decreasing. More than 20 million Americans live in areas where there is a lack of physicians to meet their medical needs. Since its inception in 1994, the USDA’s J-1 Visa waiver program has been integral to bringing 3,000 physicians to many of the most underserved rural areas of the country. In many of these areas, the J-1 physician is the only source of health care.
We appreciate your efforts to have the pending USDA waiveres adjudicated. However, once again, the USDA is faltering. The advise that none of the grandfathered waivers will be approved before July 1, 2002—for communities who hired many of them over a year ago.
As an immediate solution to the problem, we request you join in sponsoring an amendment to the Supplemental ’02 Appropriations Bill to increase the Conrad State 20 program to permit an increase in the State 20 waivers from 20 per year to 40 per year to address this rural and urban health care crisis.
Please support this legislation and contact either Congressman Moran or Senator Brownback.
Thank you for your support in bringing desperately needed J-1 Physicians to work serving the elderly, the infirm and the socially and economically disadvantaged Americans living in medically underserved areas of America.