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Marco Rubio, Dick Durbin Offer Bill to Expand Health Care Workers, Address Physician Shortage

This week, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., teamed up on a bill to “increase funding for the National Health Service Corps to expand America’s supply of health care workers.”

Durbin brought back the “Restoring America’s Health Care Workforce and Readiness Act” with Rubio as a co-sponsor. The senators have worked on the bill since 2020.

“Physician shortages are making primary and specialty care less accessible to Americans, especially in more remote and impoverished areas of the nation. The shortfall is expected to worsen over the coming decade,” Rubio’s office noted. “The senators’ bill would reauthorize funding for the National Health Service Corps and extend it through Fiscal Year 2026.”

“If you’ve tried to go to the doctor lately, you’re well aware there is a nationwide shortage of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. Increasing our investment in the National Health Service Corps will remedy that shortage by encouraging more people to pursue careers in the medical field and service in areas of need,” said Rubio.

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“Our health care professionals put their all into caring for their patients, but the demands of the pandemic have exacerbated workforce shortages, especially in our underserved rural and urban communities. Through scholarship and loan repayment, the National Health Service Corps is the premier program to build the pipeline of doctors, nurses, dentists, and behavioral health providers across America. I’m thankful for Senator Rubio’s partnership in increasing investments to help recruit the next generation of health care providers,” said Durbin.

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.


  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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